News & Events

November 2016 – Work Vessels for Vets Presents Van to RI Air Force Veteran in Mystic, CT

Work Vessels for Vets presents van to RI Air Force veteran in Mystic, CT event. Work Vessels for vets, Inc. presented a van to SSGT Eric Betz, USAF/USAFR of Newport, Rhode Island on Tuesday November 22, 2016 at Valenti VW Auto Dealership in Mystic, Connecticut. The Betz family were so grateful and appreciative of this gesture of patriotism and generosity. Their former car is in need of engine repair making transportation a great challenge to get to work, school and other family needs.

"I can't believe this is happening to me. I served in Iraq and Afghanistan loading munitions onto fighter jets. And my family and I have lived in Japan, Guam, Utah and Arizona during my twelve years in the USAir Force. We have been welcomed back home to Newport, RI with our young daughter," said SSgt Eric Belz. "We are so very grateful."

Betz is completing his career studies in computer sciences at Rhode Island College and he hopes to work in the field of occupational safety for the military in the future.


November 2016 – $70,000 grant from Newman's Own Foundation

$70,000 grant from Newman's Own Foundation Work Vessels for Vets receives $70,000 grant from Newman's Own Foundation to equip 20 veteran-entrepreneurs. Click on this NBC Connecticut Channel 4 News clip about Work Vessels for Vets as we announce the $70,000 grant from Newman's Own Foundation! Enjoy!

» Link to NBC Connecticut, Channel 4 News Clip


November 2016 – Iraq vet receives golf cart, trailer for his marine research work in Florida from Noank-based nonprofit

Iraq vet receives golf cart, trailer for his marine research work in Florida from Noank-based nonprofit Jacksonville, Fla., Army veteran Jeffrey Taylor received an unusual "vessel" from Noank-based charity Work Vessels for Vets, which donates equipment to veterans making the transition from combat to civilian careers.

Taylor was one of the early casualties of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2003 when he sustained critical injuries from a mortar attack that killed his comrades and left him trapped beneath his vehicle in a canal near Baghdad Airport.

Now recovered from severe leg and nerve injuries that compromise his mobility, along with post-traumatic stress disorder, a traumatic brain injury and loss of hearing, Taylor has been pursuing marine science studies at Jacksonville University.

The Purple Heart Homes renovated a home for him, his wife and three children, but he needed some assistance in getting around campus, as well as reaching the beaches to collect specimens and perform other maritime duties.

Work Vessels For Vets matched designated funds from the Myers Family Fund of the Manatee Foundation and approached Tom Cannon, CEO of Mid Florida Golf Cars and a fellow veteran, who agreed to find the adaptive golf car Taylor needed at a discounted price to Work Vessels For Vets.

Last week, Taylor picked up the street-ready golf car and trailer he needed to conduct specimen collection and beach cleanups while completing his graduate degree in marine sciences.

* Published November 6, 2016. The Day


October 2016 – Work Vessels for Vets is a TOP RATED NONPROFIT for three straight years!

For the third year in a row, Work Vessels for Vets is a TOP RATED NONPROFIT! Work Vessels for Veterans, Inc. HONORED AS 2016 TOP-RATED NONPROFIT by Award based on Positive Online Reviews

Noank, Connecticut. October 11, 2016 - Work Vessels for Veterans, Inc. announced today that it has been honored with a prestigious 2016 Top-Rated Award by GreatNonprofits, the leading provider of user reviews about nonprofit organizations. Work Vessels for Veterans, Inc. equips returning veteran-entrepreneurs who are starting their own civilian businesses.

“We are excited to be named a 2016 Top-Rated Nonprofit,” says Kathleen Burns, President of the Board. “Achieving this prestigious award three years in a row is a testament to the dedication of our volunteers and donors. We started 2016 with the donation of a car to a paralyzed vet who is starting a driving school for others like him. The year continued by giving away 7 tractors from Maine to Florida, 4 adaptive farm ATVs to vets too injured to use a tractor on their farms in Michigan, Oregon, Kentucky and Kansas, lots of farm equipment, and over $30,000 in tool sets, including aviation mechanics’ tools. We have supported veteran training farms with beekeeping equipment in West Virginia, and farm implements in Florida, Tennessee and Kansas. We gave a 24 foot moving van to an enterprising vet in Massachusetts, and a refrigerator truck to an organic farmer in Wisconsin. This year is drawing to a close with the donation of an adaptive golf cart to an injured vet studying marine science and assistance to a double amputee is also in the works.”


September 2016 – Refrigerator Truck Award

Refrigerator Truck Award WVFV is pleased to award a grant to Army Sgt. Steve A., injured in Iraq, who just picked up the refrigerator truck his farm needs to deliver organic farm products to his many Wisconsin commercial and CSA customers.

"You guys are fantastic!
Thank you so much!"
- Steve A.


September 2016 – Moving Truck Award

Moving Truck Award WVFV has awarded a $6,000 grant to Chris Swift, USA/NG, for a 24 foot moving van. Chris will be starting "Boots On The Ground Moving" with this van.

Congratulations Chris


September 2016 – An Evening Of Great Music: “Duke and the Esoterics”

Saturday, September 17, 2016
Clark Hall/Groton Long Point Casino
6:30 PM - 11:00 PM

TICKETS $60.00 each
CALL (860) 608-7005


U S Navy ‘Silver Dolphins’ Color Guard / National Anthem
“This “THE BEST PARTY OF THE YEAR” !! Please join us for an evening to be remembered and support the amazing mission of Work Vessels for Vets, Inc.,” RICK CROLIUS This is always a sell out – Get your tickets early!


August 2016 – WVFV contributes to the career of Jake Sanders, USMC/USMCR

Newman's Own Foundation Grants to Work Vessels for Veterans To Work Vessels for Vets—Thank you very much! I can't begin to express my gratitude to you and the other board members. This career I am starting is going to be a saving grace for my family and I and without your help it would prove to be very difficult to obtain and succeed. - Jake Sanders, USMC/USMCR

Jake – We at WVFV are proud to help you get started in your new civilian career as an aviation mechanic! Semper Fi! Pay it forward someday! From your friends at VVVFV


July 2016 – Newman's Own Foundation Grants to Work Vessels for Veterans

Newman's Own Foundation Grants to Work Vessels for Veterans It was a great day for Work Vessels for Veterans as we met with the wonderful women who run the Newman's Own Foundation. We presented them with a photo of the 5 vets with their farm vehicles made possible by NOF grant to WVFV!

We highly recommend enjoying Newman's Own food products! All the profits for charity! Thank you, Actor Paul Newman – a lasting legacy!



May 2016 – Vessel Donation for Rivers of Recovery's Northeast Chapter

Congratulations to Rivers of Recovery's Northeast Chapter Rivers of Recovery's Northeast Chapter will be running trips on the Farmington and Housatonic Rivers in CT, the Deerfield River in Western MA, and the Delaware River in NY in their new River Raft from Work Vessels for Vets!

Congratulations and Good Luck as you work to help fellow veterans in their recovery from the wounds of war.


January 2016 – Work Vessels for Vets Gives Car to Paralyzed Vet for Adaptive Driving School

Work Vessels for Vets Gives Car to Paralyzed Vet The first "vessel" of 2016 was presented to a combat disabled vet in a ceremony recently at Mohegan Sun. Flanked by members of the CT Patriot Guard, Work Vessels for Vets, a non-profit based out of Noank, Connecticut, presented Corporal Joshua Himan, USMC (ret.) a veteran of the Afghanistan war who was paralyzed in an IED explosion while deployed in Helmond Province with a late model Chevy Impala for his Driver Re-habilitation Center of Excellence, LLC. The new Virginia based company, which is owned and operated by Himan and his business partner, Major Tammy Phipps, US Army, (ret.) specializes in offering disabled drivers with driving rehabilitation programs.

Download entire Press Release in PDF format

November 2015 – WVFV announces the donation of farm vehicles to three veterans for Veterans Day 2015!

Veterans Day 2015 Donations Work Vessels for Veterans, Inc. is proud to announce the donation of farm vehicles to three veterans for Veterans Day 2015!

Lt. Andrew Sweeney, USCG (ret) will be awarded a Kubata tractor and attachments for their Lebanon, Connecticut Liberty Hill Farm. A veteran of over 20 years in the USCG, Andy rose up through the enlisted ranks and stood watch all over the globe in Coast Guard rescue missions and ice patrols. Retiring to his Connecticut home, Andy and his wife, who is also a US Coast Guard veteran are restoring an historic farm at the top of Liberty Hill. Local officials credit Andy with saving this farm from development. Work Vessels for Veterans has provided $5,000 in funds to assist in the purchase of a stronger tractor. This machine replaces an old small tractor that the Sweeney's inherited with the farm at the purchase. Andy has big plans to use the increased power of this new machine to clear a large field that has only been used for haying and bring it into acres of food production raising corn, and other vegetables. These new products will add to Liberty Hill's current line of greenhouse flowers and hydroponic Romaine lettuce.

Today in Scio, Oregon, Work Vessels for Veterans is delivering a 4WD Polaris ATV and accessories to US Army veteran Mickey Clayton. She has a service connected disability rated at 100%, including a mobility impairment due to injuries she sustained in Iraq. Mickey is half Lakota Indian and raises Navajo Churro Sheep, an American heritage breed on her 40 acre ranch situated in the Cascade foothills of Oregon. "The terrain is very steep and slick," she writes. "And because of my injuries, I am unable to ride a horse to do routine things like round up animals, bring in sick or newborn calves and lambs, or check fence lines for regular upkeep." Work Vessels for Veterans has purchased the $5,000 ATV that will enable her to expand her ranch to support herself and her daughter.

And in Bristol, Vermont, Jon Turner, USMC, will receive $6,000 of farm equipment today. Jon returned to farming after three deployments between 2003 and 2007. A Purple Heart recipient due to shrapnel to his face (minor), and then injured again by an IED the following day. His Wild Roots Farm has grown literally out of the woods, and now offers training and horticultural therapy as an outpost of the Farmer Veteran Coalition. Work Vessels for Veterans has paid for $6,000 for farm equipment including a greenhouse, water pump and other supplies. Jon will continue training fellow veterans who are seeking serenity in northern woods farming.

These grants for tractors, farm vehicles and farm equipment are made possible by grants from donors to Work Vessels for Veterans including Newman's Own Foundation which awarded $30,000 to the WVFV Farm Equipment Fund, as well as cash donations from individual donors and discounts from tractor supply dealers around the country. Work Vessels for Veterans, Inc. also just received the 2015 TOP RATED NONPROFIT AWARD from Great Nonprofits, a national rating agency.

Read Full Article
Download entire Press Release in PDF format

November 2015 – WVFV Receives $30,000 Grant From Newman's Own

WVFV Receives $30,000 Grant From Newman's Own Work Vessels For Vets has been awarded a $30,000 grant from Newman's Own Foundation, the independent foundation created by the late actor and philanthropist, Paul Newman. This is the third year of awards to Work Vessels for Veterans, bringing their cumulative support for veteran farmers from Newman's Own Fund to $130,000.

In celebration of its 10th anniversary, Newman's Own Foundation made this award to Work Vessels For Veterans. The Foundation awarded a total of $1.5 million in grants to 29 organizations that provide services to United States military men, women, veterans, and their families. Work Vessels For Veterans is working with returning veterans who are starting new farms in their communities across the country. Work Vessels For Veterans is a volunteer driven public charity that equips America's returning veterans with the tools ("vessels") they need to start a business or pursue career education.

Cathy Cook, Executive Director of Work Vessels for Veterans noted, "Today's grant of $30,000 will enable us to purchase farm machinery for 5 veteran-farmers. We will purchase a tractor for a produce farm in Connecticut restored by a US Coast Guard veteran. These grant funds will support the purchase of an ATV Farm vehicle for an injured Army veteran in Oregon who can no longer ride a horse to tend her sheep due to her injuries. An injured Marine in Vermont will receive sorely needed greenhouse and well pump equipment so he can continue to train fellow veterans using horticultural therapy. And several additional veteran applications will be fulfilled."

Download entire Press Release in PDF format

September 2015 – Update On "Broken Gear Wear"

Broken Gear Wear Remember this vet? USAF vet Steve D from Rhode Island

Last December, Work Vessels for Veterans gave him a refurbished SUV to start his veterans apparel business "Broken Gear Wear." In the last few months, he has hired several veterans and his "gear" has been worn across the nation in celebration of vets with disabilities.

Congratulations, Steve! That's "Paying it Forward!"

July 2015 – Veterans Day Celebration at Mohegan Sun

Veterans Day Celebration at Mohegan Sun You are invited to support WVFV at Vets Rock – Veterans Day celebration at Mohegan Sun on Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Buy your tickets NOW for the VETS ROCK SHOW headlined by Trace Adkins with Dropkick Murphys & Madison Rising. Tickets are on sale for $49/$29.

All day FREE US Chamber of Commerce Hire the Heros Job Fair & FREE Vets Expo Services Fair at Mohegan Convention Center with Veterans Workshops, Suiting Warriors Clothing, Art Show & Auction.

Download the Veterans Day Flyer
Purchase Tickets online at

December 19, 2014 – Merry Christmas TSGT D’Amico & Family!

Dodge Durango, donated to RI Air National Guard Technical Sergeant Steve D'Amico Work Vessels for Veterans, Inc. presented a Dodge Durango, donated by a Mystic resident, to RI Air National Guard Technical Sergeant Steve D'Amico of South Kingstown, RI. TSGT D'Amico served over 18 years with several overseas active deployments. His leg and ankle were severely injured on duty and he is now medically retired from the military. A recent graduate of the University of Connecticut's Business School Entrepreneurship Bootcamp for Disabled Veterans (EBV Program), TSGT D'Amico will use this vehicle in his new business "Broken Gear Wear" a line of adaptive clothing for disabled athletes.

More information about his new business may be found at


November 11, 2014 – Veterans Day

Check these out these freebies for Veterans Day, November 11, 2014.
Identification of some type is required for most.

Click here to view this Flyer

November 2014

Great news! Work Vessels for Veterans is having a Party!

Join us SUNDAY NOVEMBER 16 at Mohegan Sun Arena for the Trans Siberian Orchestra’s Christmas Show!

Party starts at 2pm. Show at 3. SEE FLYER!

For $100 per person, donors will enjoy a special holiday reception in the private Chairman’s Box with preferred seats for the 3pm Performance on Sunday November 16th of the internationally acclaimed Trans Siberian Orchestra's "The Christmas Attic."

You may purchase 2 tickets for $100 if you donate a used laptop to Work Vessels for Veterans Laptop Program. We will scrub and refurbish laptops for donation to needy veterans.

Reserve any additional tickets early for Sunday November 16th Celebration and Show.

Call 860-536-4418 or email The entire purchase is tax deductible!

Seating is limited, so reserve early! See you there.

October 2014

Work Vessels for Veterans, Inc is proud and excited to announce that it has been designated as a 2014 TOP RATED NONPROFIT by Great Nonprofits, Inc.

Please visit: to read reviews of our work on behalf of veteran-entrepreneurs across the nation. Thank you all!

September 2014

Dear Work Vessels for Veterans

Just checking in to let you know I got some new additions to the ranch. I've gotten a few steps closer to my dream. I was able to get ahold of ten good roping steers and have started training them for roping in the arena. I've stayed in contact with the Wounded Warrior Project and I've let them know that when I get the lights up in the arena and barn I can start having more wounded warriors out for equine therapy, and also putting on ropings to raise awareness about WVFV and raising money to benefit my fellow wounded warriors. I want to help out as much as can to get veterans the same care I've received from organizations such as yours. I've been thinking about it and I'd rather call it "ranch therapy" because they can learn to work cattle and feed all the animals as well as fish and ride around the ranch. One of the wounded warriors came out with his brother and just to see how excited they were about everything made me ten times more excited to get things done. Below are some new photos of the ranch, steers, and cattle dogs (which I've trained to work the cattle). And one photo of my female puppy "Dally" working the buffalo.

I try to keep up with all the work y'all are doing with veterans via Facebook and your website. I filled out the survey about WVFV on the non-profit website. Hope all is well. Looking forward to talking to you again.

– Veteran Kyle Cooper, Florida

August 2014

Work Vessels for Veterans donates farm equipment to the Beardi's, another beginning farmer veteran in upstate New York.

"Dave and I thank you all so much for helping BRDs Forever Farm and your dedication to all veterans. Organizations like yours are angels in their endless, selfless pursuit in support of our returning military members," Dave and Becki Beardi of BRDs Forever Farm, NY, August 2014.

July 2014

Leave No Soldier takes a dramatic look at the dynamics of activism among two generations of US war veterans and paints a vivid picture of how America treats its soldiers when they are no longer on the battlefield.

Visit the website
Preview the "Leave No Solider" video

June 2014

Dave Mason: An Album, a Tour and a Heart for Veterans

Towards the end of 2013, when Dave Mason’s new album Future’s Past was still in production and plans were still being made for his new tour Dave Mason's Traffic Jam, Dave was kind enough to chat with me about the Veteran's charity that he co-founded – Work Vessels for Veterans. Work Vessels for Veteransis an amazingly under the radar non-profit that gives Veterans the opportunity to make a living by supplying them with fundamental tools to do the work they need to do as they reestablish life back home. Their website offers recent stories about their work to provide a wounded Iraq Vet with an ATV, a wounded Afghanistan Veteran with his first tractor for his farm and a laptop for a Vet who is returning to college. Dave spoke with me about this charity, the war and his love/hate relationship with the internet...

Read the entire interview

May 2014

Work Vessels for Veterans recently provided wounded Iraq vet Adam Mattis with an ATV for "Orion's Kin" - His new Tennessee-based business of Adventure Hunting Excursions for Big Game in the USA Watch for his Cable TV show, "Orion's Kin" on The Pursuit Channel.

Adam Mattis, the founder of "Orion's Kin", has been an avid outdoorsman and conservationist for more than 20 years. From an early age Mattis took to the field in pursuit of Pennsylvania whitetail and waterfowl under the expert guidance of his father and grandfather. The elder Mattis' hammered home the importance of respecting the land, the hunt, and the kill.

As Mattis' life expanded beyond Pennsylvania’s borders through service in the United States Army, he was presented the opportunity to hunt and fish in nearly every environment that North America has to offer. Moving through the varying climates and landscapes, Mattis found success employing his military tools and tactics in the field. Now, Mattis hopes to share these techniques with hunters, huntresses, and anglers nationwide.

Mattis retired from the U.S. Army in 2006 after being wounded in combat during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Outside of Orion's Kin, Mattis is a consultant for the military, law enforcement, and shooting sports industries.

Check out and Facebook: Orions Kin TV

February 2014

Work Vessels for Veterans arranged for the donation of a new Planer Saw to U.S. Marine James Norrie from Clinton, CT. He's a wood worker still recovering from injuries sustained in Iraq.

January 2014

Here's a really Happy New Year! Work Vessels for Vets, along with our partners, The Good People Foundation, was able to present Matthew Burke, wounded in Afghanistan in 2011, with his first tractor for his new farm in Florida.

"A magnificent surprise!" exclaimed wounded vet Matthew Burke. "They handed me the keys to a TRACTOR! I was in shock and couldn't believe this was happening. Overjoyed, my face began to cramp (from all the smiling I hadn't done in a while). This was possible by the team effort of Work Vessels For Vets and the Good People Foundation. That led me to generate this letter, a letter of paramount appreciation to Work Vessels for Veterans and to Naomi from the Good People Foundation. Although words can never describe true feelings, I want you to know that the tractor is an answer to my prayers. It provides me a chance to work without suffering, tripling my function-ability as a farmer. You 'guys' have enabled my family to move forward as a utilitarian team. I am amped-up about the future of our farm and looking forward to opening the gate of paying it forward."

Thank You So Very Much,
Matthew, Liz, Jasmine, and Adina Burke

See his story by clicking here.

November 22, 2013

Little Big Town signs guitar for Celebrity Guitar Auction taking place through December 4th on

Mohegan Tribal Chairman Kevin Brown & Country Stars Little Big Town Come Together For Work Vessels For Veterans

UNCASVILLE, CT (November 22, 2013) — Mohegan Tribal Nation Chairman Kevin Brown joined ACM Award Winners Little Big Town before their performance on the Keith Urban concert at Mohegan Sun Arena on Saturday, November 16th in announcing the start of the Work Vessels for Veterans On Line Fund Raiser – A Celebrity Guitar Auction with Charity Buzz to Help Vets. Read more

November 15, 2013


"This car will change my life!" says Navy Vet Valerie Vance

Work Vessels for Vets, Inc, presented local Navy veteran Valerie Vance with a car to help her complete her career studies at UConn. Vance is a single mother who served in the Gulf War era, in the highly unusual position as a woman in the US Navy aboard ship in the Gulf. Work Vessels for Veterans, a Noank based all volunteer charity, held a presentation ceremony on Thursday November 14, 2013 at Valenti auto Dealership to present her with a car which will enable her to get to classes in Storrs from her home in Waterford. Read more

November 11, 2013

America's Businesses say "Thank You for Your Service"
Free and Discount Deals for Veterans Day 2013. Read more

"A HAND UP" Fund Raiser for Work Vessels for Veterans raises the roof at GLP!

SEPTEMBER 19, 2013: The Bronx Wanderers, famed Rock and Roll legends band, left Las Vegas and stormed Groton Long Point last Saturday, September 14th to headline the 5th Annual fund raiser, this year called "A Hand Up" for Work Vessels for Vets. Initially this event raised money for Hospice and Make a Wish but for the past three years this sold out dance party has exclusively donated all proceeds to our local charity helping returning veterans get the "vessel" or equipment they need to start their own businesses. This event has raised $12,000 for Work Vessels for Vets. In addition, over the last three years, Work Vessels for Vets Chairman John Niekrash has given veterans three trucks, three cars and two 25' boats along with $3,000.00 worth of tools, a dump truck and a landscape trailer as well as 16 laptop computers. This year, a fishing boat was donated to veteran Todd Rohr who is expanding his wounded warrior recreational fishing program to Florida and New Hampshire. One of Connecticut's own National Guardsmen who just returned from Afghanistan received a laptop for his new business, and a pickup truck full of new tools was also donated to a Connecticut based, veteran-owned, green construction company. A capacity crowd of 300 danced to oldies, and enjoyed the food and libations at the Groton Long Point Community Center and wrote checks to Work Vessels for Vets. Many friends collaborated to make the evening a success, including the US Naval Submarine Base Silver Dolphins Color Guard, West Hartford Police LT Kevin McCarthy who sang The National Anthem in a moving Irish tenor voice and the Valenti Auto Mall, honored for its "Valenti's Vehicles for Vets Program." Next year's "A Hand Up - 2" 'Honor the Vet' Celebration is scheduled for September 13th, but get your tickets early, as it will be sold out by June 2004!