About Us

What is Know A Vet?

Know A Vet is the public name of Friends of the Vet Center, Inc., a California-based nonprofit corporation recognized by the IRS as a tax exempt 501(c)(3) charity. (EIN 82-1566302)

Neil Lichtman – President and Founder
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

Vito Scarnecchia – Board of Advisors
Combat Marine, Real Estate Agent serving Vets

Michael Vargas – Board of Advisors
Attorney with Rimon Law

Rick Paulson – Community Volunteer
Veteran, Website Architect

Know A Vet?
P.O. Box 698
211 Hope Street
Mountain View, CA 94042
(833) 566-9283

Contact us here

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 their databases, we are NOT authorized to speak for the VA, Vet Centers, Veteran Service Offices, or to 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 as acting as an advocate for an individual, as we are not qualified. We simply spread other people’s advice to as many people as possible so that more veterans and those around them will be aware of the vast amount of available help and will 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.

What We Do

Our mission is to help make veterans, their families, and caregivers aware of more than 90 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 to get to their best life after military service. We do this via:

  • Physical and online outreach.
  • This website, with detailed information on over ninety issues, hundreds of videos, and links to thousands of local resources. We are the most in-depth source of information on the help available to veterans.
  • Our “KnowAVet News”, with well-researched articles from the VA and other sources on topics that better the lives of post-9/11 vets and their families, as well as senior vets and surviving spouses.
  • Personal help through our volunteer “Champions” via email, social media and phone calls for anyone who asks for personal help in sorting out their issues and options.

Picture a combat vet returning home after three, four or five deployments and trying to re-integrate into a civilian life that is no longer comfortable for him/her. He or she may have no job, no income, have PTSD, and may not know where or how to connect with people (even family and old friends) who have no idea who they are anymore and what they have had to do and see – for them!

The VA is wonderful, once you get through, which may take months. In the meantime, 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 on the issues you are facing and immediately find out if there is help through the VA, as well as through the community and private  help – a lot of it for free.

Most importantly, if a vet is overwhelmed by all the options and how to get started, we provide a volunteer 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 online.

Champions help with everything from listening to your needs/goals, to hearing what is holding you back, whether that is a need for child care, transportation, housing, job training, job placement with a vet friendly employer, an addiction or pain, or any of the 90+ topics under the “Self-Help” or “Welcome Home” tabs.

Our initial efforts are in Outreach, to locate the vets who are either not in the VA system or who 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, our corporate team has developed relationships with:

  • BAE
  • Goodwill
  • Google
  • Martha’s Kitchen
  • Milpitas Veteran’s Commission
  • Mission College Veterans center
  • NPower
  • 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
  • Work2Future
  • ZipRecruiters,
  • And many others

How You Can Help

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.

Please contact us if you aren’t able to find what you need.

Know A Vet?

Many veterans find the transition to civilian life difficult after leaving active duty. We can help!