What is Know-A-Vet? (KAV)
Know A Vet is the public name of Friends of the Vet Center, Inc., a California based Non-Profit Corporation recognized by the IRS as a tax exempt 501(c)(3) charity. (82-1566302)
KnowAVet? is a FREE, CONFIDENTIAL, ANONYMOUS service.
Our mission is to help make veterans, our families, and caregivers aware of more than 80 topics and issues we have Earned help for (through our service), available from the VA and/or community and private providers, in every zip code.
Our purpose is to help vets and their families take the actions they need in order to get to their best life after service in any branch and location. We do this via our:
- Physical and online outreach – see below;
- This website – We believe that this website, with detailed information on 90+ issues and hundreds of videos, along with links to literally thousands of local resources to help veterans, is the most in-depth source of information on help available.;
- We also produce our “KnowAVet News”, on a regular basis, with well researched articles on topics to better the lives of Post 911 vets and their families, as well as Senior Vets and Surviving Spouses, from the VA and much more, so we can get help and compensation;
- KAV provides personal help via email, social media and phone, through our live, “Champions” for anyone who asks for help in sorting their issues and options out.
KAV “fine print”
We are an all-volunteer organization of mostly veterans and our families. No one gets paid, so every penny of your tax-deductible donation goes completely to helping veterans. The one exception is that we use a paid, independent, outside accounting firm, to make sure we are always in compliance with Federal and State requirements.
While we have been approved by the VA to receive data for this site directly from several of their databases, we are NOT authorized to speak for the VA, Vet Centers, Veteran Service Offices, or act on their behalf.
NO ONE working for or with Know A Vet should ever be considered as attempting to provide financial, legal or medical advice, or acting as an advocate for an individual, as we are not qualified. We simply spread other people’s advice to as many people as we can, so that more veterans and those around them, will be aware of the overwhelming amount of help available and reach out for that help, comfort and a better quality of life.
To receive any of the services mentioned on this site, or other advice Use the Self-Assist button or call your local VA, Vet Center or Veteran’s Service Office.
Our contact information is:
Know A Vet?
P. O. Box 698
211 Hope Street
Mountain View, CA 94042
Our Board and Advisors Include:
Neil Lichtman – President; Disabled Combat Veteran; Management Consultant; Retired NYU Professor; Founder of People to People
Sharyle Leidy – Secretary; Disabled Combat Veteran Spouse; Director of Volunteers
Cole Cameron – Treasurer; Board of Advisors; Veteran; Chairperson – Santa Clara County Veterans Commission; Board of Directors: CadreSv, CERT
Shalou Alberto – Board of Advisors; Combat Veteran
Juanita Morales-Euresti – Board of Advisors; Executive Director of the San Jose Vet Center
Vito Scarnecchia – Board of Advisors; Combat Marine, Real Estate Agent serving Vets
Camille Coletto – Board of Advisors; Director of Veterans Services, Goodwill of Silicone Valley
Michael Vargas – Board of Advisors; Attorney with Rimon Law
David Till – Board of Advisors; Combat Veteran
What We Do
Our initial efforts are in Outreach, to locate the vets who are either not in the VA system or have not maximized what they are receiving. We do this with a multi-pronged approach that no one else is using. It includes working with schools, employers, the general public, governments, organizations and places veterans and their families and friends might frequent.
Our ground team gets our messages to shelters, stores, houses of worship, etc., developing relationships along the way. In our first years, we have developed scores of these relationships.
- Our corporate team has developed relationships with:
- Martha’s Kitchen
- Milpitas Veteran’s Commission
- Mission College Veterans center
- San Jose State University Veterans center
- San Jose Vet Center
- Santa Clara County Veteran’s Commission
- Santa Clara Water Commission
- United Veterans Council
- Vietnam Veterans of America
- And many others
Support: Our Champion Program
Picture a combat vet returning home after three, four or five deployments, trying to re-integrate into a civilian life that is no longer comfortable for him/her. You may have no job, no income, you have PTSD (because no one comes home alive) you have trouble sleeping and you don’t know where or how to connect with people (even family and old friends) who have no idea who you are anymore and what you have had to do and see – for them!
The VA is wonderful, once you get through, perhaps months, to qualify. In the meantime, and even after the VA and Vet Centers start to help, you have real-life survival issues.
That’s why we created a “Self-Help” page, so that you can click off the issues you are facing and immediately find out if the VA has help for them, as well as the community and private resources that can help – a lot of it for free.
Most importantly, if a vet is just overwhelmed by all the options and how to get started, we provide a LIVE Champion to help them get to their best life, faster and easier than they can on their own, whether that be in person, on the phone or on line.
Champions help with everything from listening to your needs/goals, to hearing what is keeping you back, whether that is a need for child care, or an addiction, or training, or pain, transportation, housing, nightmares, hunger, job placement with a vet friendly employer, or any of the 80+ topics under the “Self-Help” or “Welcome Home” tabs.
While we ask for donations of time, talent, money, etc., you should know SOMETHING SPECIAL ABOUT US. ALL DONATIONS are used for services to veterans! We are almost completely a volunteer organization. We are also virtual, so we have no offices. Donations go directly to outreach and support veteran programs.
Do NOT give money directly to anyone claiming to be a representative of Know A Vet. Financial donations should be made through the site. Physical donations should provide you with a receipt for your taxes.
Please contact us with any questions or suggestion regarding this site or how we can better help vets using this form, or to volunteer, by using our email form or by calling 833 566-9283. However, please note that if your questions involve medical or legal advice you would be MUCH better served by contacting your local Vet Center, or the VA, as we are not qualified counselors and can not provide direct help to you.
If you are in crisis, please call the Veteran’s Crisis Hotline at 1 (800) 273 – 8255 and press 1, for immediate help.
We hope you will share your Individual or Organizational information with us so that we can update you on a regular basis, for FREE, with KnowAVet News. Your information will be kept in the strictest of confidence. Whether you are volunteering to help at an event, or with outreach, or are a donor, or a veteran, we will not share any of your information with anyone outside Know A Vet, unless legally required to.