Veterans get new chance to serve on vaccination campaign

Veterans Coalition for Vaccination


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Six Veteran organizations are coming together to form the Veterans Coalition for Vaccination. The goal: enable Veterans to help other Veterans get vaccinated.

A Team Rubicon volunteer prepares a shot to administer.

A Team Rubicon volunteer prepares a shot to administer.

Veterans have the experience to help organize vaccination sites

Veterans, who have moved everything from troops to ships to entire armies, have the unique skills and expertise needed to run vaccination sites, explained one of the VCV’s founding members, Art delaCruz of Team Rubicon.

“Veterans understand process, the value of executing steps in checklists, and managing unexpected changes. They were indoctrinated in teamwork and shared efforts and focusing available resources to carry out a mission,” says delaCruz. “Plus, their extensive and broad experience allows them to tackle the wide range of necessary tasks, from the managing all logistics to distribution of the vaccine to organizing and executing site administrative tasks – think registering people to get vaccinated or monitoring vaccines for reactions – to providing leadership and organization of the volunteers at a site.”

To enable Veterans to get into the fight, Team Rubicon, the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA)Student Veterans of America (SVA)Team Red, White & BlueThe Mission Continues, and Wounded Warrior Project created the Veterans Coalition for Vaccination (VCV) in early February.

Mobilizing Veteran volunteers across the country

At its core, the VCV – and its Veteran volunteers – will provide health departments, communities and public agencies across the U.S. with the administrative, logistical and operational support needed to stand up and maintain vaccination sites. The VCV can also provide trained health care workers to supplement hospital staff.

By uniting their members into a nationwide network, the six founding partner organizations will be able to mobilize Veterans to deliver vaccines anywhere from the inner city to the most rural outpost, and hopefully improve equitable access to vaccinations to all Americans regardless of geographic or socioeconomic limitations.

For Veterans, it’s also a chance to serve their country again, and in a new way.

Any Veteran – anywhere in the U.S. – can register or volunteer with the VCV to help get the vaccine into arms in their very own communities.

“I’m excited to be able to use the skillsets that I obtained in the military to help people in my community. I’m at the point in my life where this is what I should be doing for people. And if I don’t do it then shame on me,” says U.S. Marine Corps Veteran Jon Chapman. “I have the resources, I have the time, I have the skillset. Even if it’s not going out and administering a shot, I have a background from the military that taught me how to manage resources and people make sure that vaccinating Americans gets done.”

Already, vaccination operations have spun up Chicago, Tucson, Daytona, Denver, FL; Mecklenburg County, NC; and Jefferson, WI. And the VCV has been fielding requests for assistance from other communities hit hard by COVID-19 that are struggling to stand up clinics on their own.


The sharing of any non-VA information does not constitute an endorsement of products and services on part of VA.


Julie H. Case is an editor for Team Rubicon.

Author

Beth Lamb

Beth Lamb is a content creator, working as a member of VA’s Veterans Experience Office since January 2017.

Comments

  1. Larry A. Havill    

    I am in S Fl I d be glad to help in any way. I am 78 but very good shape. I have a commercial driver’s license (CDL) and own a flatbed trailer and tractor: and other over-the-road equipment.

  2. Mike Lane    

    I am interested in Volunteering for the vaccination program. I’m a USMC Active Duty Retiree with 04 yrs experience in Avionics. I understand Logistics / Administration / Coordination and execution of tasks, and team work. I have spent almost 30 years volunteering and helping Veterans. I am a Peer Support and WRAP Specialist working mainly on the streets helping male and Female Veterans work within the system. I obtained 250 motel nights for Female Veterans. I created and worked a fiber optic and telecommunication product wholesale company. And, I obtained and successfully delivered on city, state, university, and Federal contracts. Please contact me.

  3. Thomas F Mohnkern Sr    

    I am an Air Force retired veteran with a background in Human Services (Personnel). If there is anything I can do to help, please contact me. This is a GREAT WAY for the Vets to continue serving their Country! I live in northwestern PA (Oil City, PA), and my VA Clinic is in Franklin Pennsylvania.

  4. Ron Santini    

    Mike, Take a look at Team Rubicon. A great Veteran volunteer organization providing disaster response worldwide. Here is a link: https://teamrubiconusa.org/

  5. Mike Kufchak    

    I am interested in Volunteering with my Veteran Group, However I need more information to present to my Peers. I’m a USMC Active Duty Retiree with over 30 yrs experience in the Infantry. I understand Logistics / Administration / Coordination and most notably EXECUTION OF TASKS. Please contact me.

  6. Wayne Robins    

    Thank you so much for bringing attention to this coordinated effort. I am a Team Rubicon volunteer leader in Salt Lake City, Utah. On March 1st, we will begin deploying volunteers in support of this vaccination campaign, our first stop is Davis county in the city of Farmington, Utah, and will expand to cover several other counties throughout the state. I am more than happy to assist anyone in Utah that is interested in getting involved through Team Rubicon. Please feel free to contact me using the email address below.

    wayne.robins@teamrubiconusa.org

    Thanks.

  7. Leo Robillard    

    I am a sixtyfive(65) y/o Marine, licensed Massachusetts Paramedic and Nationally Registered. Administering and recording vaccines is a good fit for me. When and where can I help?

    1. JB Dichter    

      Make surre you get informed consent from each patient.

  8. Edward G. Caplinger    

    I don’t see a path to local participation to help. I am in NW Tampa, but also mobile. Being a healthy retired Vet, I am free to cut loose and help some folks. Go ahead and give me your toughest assignment.

    1. Pablo Timoteo Rampy    

      Vietnam era EMT, retired living on the road in a motorhome and in Florida. Sign me up!

    2. DONNA FOX    

      I AM A WIDOW OF A CAREER ARMY WEST POINTER… I WOULD LIKE TO JOIN YOU OR ANY TEAM PUT TOGETHER .I LIVE IN VENICE.. HEALTH AND HAVE A CAR.. WILLING TO GO ANYWHERE AND DO ANYTHING NEEDED TO BE DONE. I DO NOT COMPLAIN AND CAN HANDLE MOST REQUIREMENTS.. GOOD LUCK IN HEARING BACK AND LET ME KNOW IF MORE HELP NEEDED… I, LIKE YOU… WOULD EXCEPT THE TOUGHESS OF ASSIGNMENTS..

      DONNA FOX

    3. JB Dichter    

      Why didn’t you post my comment???

      1. JB Dichter    

        The vaccines are UNAPPROVED drug products and UNAPPROVED drug products require informed consent. See 21 CFR 50.20

  9. Kathleen W Bronson    

    I live in Las Vegas, NV and am glad to help out in any way needed. I’ve received both moderna vaccines so I’m ready to help.

  10. Scott C. Graebel    

    I’m rural up the Mckenzie River out of Springfield, Oregon. VA is the best medical care I’ve had over the last 15 yrs. Glad to help. Retired Occupational Therapist by trade. This program has been needed for many years.

  11. Katty    

    Good afternoon, I’m a veteran living in Miami. Will love to. Volunteer and help!!

  12. Michael Levija    

    Hello,
    I live in International Falls and its about rural is one can get. It takes two hours one way just to see a primary doctor. I would be honored to help my fellow brothers and sisters here where I live.

  13. jay lawrence jorgenson    

    The “volunteer” link doesn’t work. Would like to volunteer.

    1. Beth Lamb    

      Hey Jay, I apologize for any issues. I just checked the link and it’s working properly. Please try again.

  14. Braxton Tabb    

    My name is Braxton, and I’d like to volunteer on Maui, but your link is broken. Please tell me how I can complete the process. Perhaps the VA could email me?

  15. joy moh    

    hi everyone, thank you for your interest, we would love to have you join our efforts. Please visit https://theveteranscoalition.com or email press@teamrubiconusa.org as we can help direct your question.

  16. Hylton Keith    

    Beth, Where is the link to volunteer?

    1. Beth Lamb    

      Hey Keith, it’s a link near the bottom of the blog, i just enlarged it so it’s easier to see. I just checked the link and it’s working properly. I hope you get to sign up!

  17. Carol A Gaudioso    

    I am a widow of a deceased Veteran. I live in Whitefish, Montana (Near Kalispell). I would like to Volunteer assisting with Vaccinations. I am unable to signup on line. Thank you!!!!

    1. joy moh    

      hi Carol! Let us know where you are having trouble, can you email press@teamrubiconusa.org and we can forward this to the VCV team?

  18. Neil D Bute    

    I’m a veteran and willing to help other veterans in rural areas. I live in Fredericksburg, Virginia. Who is the POC for this program in my area?

  19. Donna D Weeks    

    I am in Greeneville, Tn and would be willing to help. I was a dental/ oral surgery assistant in the AF, and a CNA since 2011. I also am a National certified Phlebotomist. I would be willing to give injections.

    1. Jessica Haines    

      Hi Donna! Here are the links to Team Rubicon’s volunteer page and to VCV’s site. Hope to see you in the field!
      https://teamrubiconusa.org/volunteer/
      https://teamrubiconusa.org/vcv

  20. donna brown    

    I am a veteran Army Nurse of the Gulf War era, with a current Registered Nurse license. I would be glad to help administer the vaccine.

    1. Jessica Haines    

      Hi Donna! Here are the links to Team Rubicon’s volunteer page and to VCV’s site. Once there, you can sign up and get out in the field! Thank you for your willingness to serve!
      https://teamrubiconusa.org/volunteer/
      https://teamrubiconusa.org/vcv

  21. Robert Langenderfer    

    Let me know. I have been volunteering at an assisted living facility speaking with the vets there. Covid has stopped that daily interaction.

    1. Jessica Haines    

      Hi Robert! Here are the links to Team Rubicon’s volunteer page and to VCV’s site. Once there, you can sign up and get out in the field! Thank you for your willingness to serve!
      https://teamrubiconusa.org/volunteer/
      https://teamrubiconusa.org/vcv

  22. Wayne    

    I would be able to help distribute vaccine in my general area. Also open to other needs for supporting the vaccine efforts.

    1. Jessica Haines    

      Hi Wayne! Here are the links to Team Rubicon’s volunteer page and to VCV’s site. See you in the field!
      https://teamrubiconusa.org/volunteer/
      https://teamrubiconusa.org/vcv

  23. Jennifer Slover    

    I’m a Desert Storm era Veteran and Life Member of the Marine Corps League. I’m interested in helping with the vaccine.

    1. Jessica Haines    

      Hi Jennifer! Here are the links to Team Rubicon’s volunteer page and to VCV’s site. Hope to see you in the field!
      https://teamrubiconusa.org/volunteer/
      https://teamrubiconusa.org/vcv4

  24. Esther L Wright    

    I am a retired Army nurse that would like to participate in the administration of the vaccine. We have the space to set up a site at our church. Please contact me.

    1. Jessica Haines    

      Hi Esther! Thank you for your willingness to serve! Here are the links to Team Rubicon’s volunteer page and to VCV’s site. Once there, you can register and get out in the field.
      https://teamrubiconusa.org/volunteer/
      https://teamrubiconusa.org/vcv

  25. SanJuana Mendez    

    I recently moved into Section 8 funded senior community that includes several veterans. Coz of Covid & recent winter storm, hv had no opportunity to meet brothers & sisters in service, so don’t know if anyone else has learned they cn be vaccinated, especially since V.A. hospital–where vaccines are being administered–is several miles (greater than 5 miles, perhaps even greater than 10 miles) from our community.

    As one who had been separated from military life 28 yrs before learning I could call myself a veteran, I’ve become self-appointed veterans’ advocate, making sure all veterans know benefits & advantages they’re entitled to. I wz vaccinated Tues., 16 Feb. I hv no leadership experience but I’d be willing to help coordinate anyone sent to HomeTowne in Houston to ensure veterans housed here hv same opportunity to be vaccinated that I wz given.

  26. Daryl W Maddox    

    I am a 68 y.o. veteran, a former medical specialist with years of real time experience in ER, Radiology, and Ambulance duties. If I can be of any help in administering vaccines to rural veterans, please contact me:
    Daryl Maddox, former Sgt.
    USAF Medical Squadron (former)

    1. Jessica Haines    

      Hi Daryl! Here are the links to Team Rubicon’s volunteer page and to VCV’s site. Once there, you can register and get out in the field. Thank you for your willingness to serve!
      https://teamrubiconusa.org/volunteer/
      https://teamrubiconusa.org/vcv

  27. Robert Batiste    

    I am interested in working to move vaccines to individuals in need of vaccinations.

    1. Jessica Haines    

      Hi Robert! Thank you for your willingness to serve! Here are the links to register and to get out in the field.
      https://teamrubiconusa.org/volunteer/
      https://teamrubiconusa.org/vcv

  28. Kip Brooks    

    Veterans have the experience to help organize vaccination sites – How do I apply? , The “Volunteer Now” does nothing?

    Kip Brooks

    1. Beth Lamb    

      Hey Kip, I just checked the link and it’s working now. Please try again and thank you for volunteering!

  29. Stacey M Ross    

    Hi,
    I was wondering about the covid shots for the vets and homeless vets. I am my husbands caregiver. He is a vet ! Anyway, I worked for Smithkline Beecham Clinical Laboratory for 18 years. I was retired in 1989 when our company turned into Glaxo Smithline !!! I was a Phlebotomist along with handling clients on the central coast.
    I am wanting to know if I would qualify to give shots ??? Also. for my own meds , I had to give myself shot for a few years and need to do that again. Anyway, Please let me know, I would like to do that in our area..
    Thank you

    Stacey Ross

  30. Michael G. Laughlin    

    An able-bodied 76 year old, I was very impressed with the immunization process for my age group at the Lincoln, Nebraska VA facility. Professional, attentive, helpful staff were with seniors at every step from the parking lot to the auditorium to the exit door. Many were in wheelchairs or required assistance ambulating and navigating the process. The Lincoln VA has been first class ever since I retired from a 30-year USAF career in the 1990s. I believe that’s because they are staffed and led by Nebraskans. Thank you, Lincoln VA!

  31. John Cousineau    

    I tried to suggest this to several groups months ago. There hundreds of veterans with the expertise to give these inoculations. They think it takes an LPN, RN, or MD to give shots. I did them for 14 years in the service and 10 years out of service. I retired out of 9th Inf Division Medical Operations Command. Like I said there’s hundreds of us out there and you have a list if you want to invite them all. Like you say where all still soldiers.

    1. Jessica Haines    

      Hi John! Thank you for your willingness to serve! Here are the links to Team Rubicon’s volunteer page and to VCV’s site. Hope to see you in the field!
      https://teamrubiconusa.org/volunteer/
      https://teamrubiconusa.org/vcv

  32. James Thompson    

    The site will not let me volunteer

    1. Beth Lamb    

      Hey James, I just checked the link and it’s working. Please try again and thank you for your interest in becoming a volunteer.

  33. James Thompson    

    I tried to volunteer, but the icon did not open up to go forward

    1. Jessica Haines    

      Hi James! Here are some links that will take you to Team Rubicon’s volunteer page. Once there, you will be able to sign up and get out in the field! Thank you!
      https://teamrubiconusa.org/volunteer/
      https://teamrubiconusa.org/vcv

  34. Peter Burkard    

    I can volunteer giving shots s1or 2 days a week along with my wife, she has volunteered in the hospital

    1. Jessica Haines    

      Peter, thank you for your willingness to serve! Here are the links to get registered as a volunteer with Team Rubicon.
      https://teamrubiconusa.org/volunteer/
      https://teamrubiconusa.org/vcv

  35. Randy Dean Pierce    

    O am a very grateful veteran receiving health care benefits. I would also be very grateful if i could be on the volunteer team to help get other vets vaccinated. Please consider my for a position. I am also a licensed driver with my own vehicle.

    1. Jessica Haines    

      Hi Randy! Here are the links to Team Rubicon’s volunteer page and to VCV’s site. Thank you for your willingness to help!
      https://teamrubiconusa.org/volunteer/
      https://teamrubiconusa.org/vcv

  36. Michael Hipp    

    I am a Veteran here in Colorado Springs, CO and I am now retired. When I served in the US Army 1965-68 I was a Medical Corpsman working in the dispensary in Germany. I have repeatedly tried various organizations to help administer the Covid 19 vaccinations. I also, inquired at my local VA Clinic where I have now received both of the Pfizer vaccine. Not only having administered 1000’s of vaccinations while in the Army, I am also the licensed and certified Mortician, which I am well familiar with the human body. Here in Colorado there are many Veterans that live in remote areas and far from the VA Clinic’s and Hospital in Denver. It would be nice to to be able to help the outlining area Vet’s get their vaccinations.
    Is there a need for my volunteer service to assist in this endeavor?

    1. Jessica Haines    

      Hi Michael! Here are the links to becoming a volunteer with Team Rubicon. Hope to see you in the field!
      https://teamrubiconusa.org/volunteer/
      https://teamrubiconusa.org/vcv

    1. Jessica Haines    

      Hi Carl! Here are the links to Team Rubicon’s volunteer page and the VCV site. See you in the field!
      https://teamrubiconusa.org/volunteer/
      https://teamrubiconusa.org/vcv

    2. Wayne Robins    

      Thank you so much for bringing attention to this coordinated effort. I am a Team Rubicon volunteer leader in Salt Lake City, Utah. On March 1st, we will begin deploying volunteers in support of this vaccination campaign, our first stop is Davis county in the city of Farmington, Utah, and will expand to cover several other counties throughout the state. I am more than happy to assist anyone in Utah that is interested in getting involved through Team Rubicon. Please feel free to contact me using the email address below.

      wayne.robins@teamrubiconusa.org

      Thanks.

  37. Sharon M Pace    

    I am 73 and have COPD, emphysema, and a 70%disabled veteran. I am scheduled to have my vaccination (2) next month at the VA Fresno. I have a younger lady (50) staying with me and helps me. But she is not a paid caregiver. Is she eligible to get a vaccine through the VA.

    1. Alice    

      Call your VA facility for details on vaccinations for caregivers. While she may not be eligible to receive the vaccine through the VA, she may qualify for a vaccine as a healthcare worker, depending on the rollout parameters in your state. You should be able to check this on your state’s department of health website. I hope you can find a place for her to get vaccinated and that you both stay safe.

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