ABOVE PHOTO: Maury Singleton, President of the NFBVN and Sgt. Major Wesley at the Comfort House for Veterans.
By Kendall Alexander
There are countless programs designed to improve the welfare of veterans in the country, but it is still tough to find one here in Philadelphia. There is one non-profit that is seeking to change the state of veteran affairs for good.
The National Federation of Black Veterans Network (NFBVN) is a veteran founded organization that strives to improve the lives of black veterans, no matter what branch of the service they served in. Established in 2008, the mission of NFBVN is to educate, uplift, and honor. This organization is committed to offering an alternative avenue to veterans of color through workshops, forums, support systems, outreach initiatives, career counseling, and volunteer services.
Founder Maury Singleton wants local veterans to understand that there is a place for them to be heard.
“[Veterans should be] aware that there is an organization out there like the National Federation of Black Veterans Network. It is important to inform the ones who are uninformed because I know what they went through personally. They should be aware of what their entitlements are, and understand that they are valued no matter their mental state and that their fight was worth it.”
The National Federation of Black Veterans Network is not limited to those who have served in the military. Non- veterans are also welcome to join and share their expertise.
NFBVN does all it can to spread the word about their services including community interaction and appearances on a local radio programs. This past September, the organization held their first Veterans Health Fair in Camden, New Jersey. Services included blood pressure screenings, health insurance referrals, a veteran history movie screening, food and giveaways.
“We wanted to cater to the minds, bodies and spirits of veterans because their health is vital,” said Executive Project Manager Elise Brown. When they come out of service, they are not always concerned about health issues. Ultimately, we want them to understand that there are indeed resources out there that are willing to help sustain them in the long run.”
The organization successfully introduced themselves to the Camden community in efforts to create a South Jersey chapter in partnership with their Philadelphia branch. Volunteers are always welcome.
The NFBVN meets on the first Monday of each month from 6:30-7:30pm, at The New Freedom Theater, 1346 N Broad Street in North Philadelphia. For more information, you can call 215-594-5830, send an email to at [email protected], or go to the NFBVN website at www.nationalfederationofblackveteransnetwork.com.