Deputy Secretary for Veterans and Defense Affairs Visits the Warrior Retreat at Bull Run
Deputy Secretary Jaime Areizaga-Soto (on right) with Steve Nance and Holly Crocker at the June 7th VIP Event.
On June 7th, 2018, Jaime Areizaga-Soto, Deputy Secretary for Veterans and Defense Affairs for the Commonwealth of Virginia attended the VIP Event at the Warrior Retreat. In addition to working for the Office of the Governor, Mr. Areizaga-Soto is an attorney and a Colonel in the Army National Guard of the District of Columbia. His is very supportive of helping our commonwealth’s service members and shared the following information from the Governor’s Office about the state of Virginia.
- It has the largest and fastest growing population of female veterans in the U.S.
- The fastest growing military population.
- It is the first state to end veteran homelessness. This was accomplished through a combined Federal, State, local and NGO effort. The state has directly assisted in the permanent housing of over 3,000 homeless veterans here in the Commonwealth.
- Virginia currently has two long-term care centers for veterans in Richmond and Roanoke. Two additional 128-bed facilities are underway in VA Beach and Vint Hill (Fauquier County) and will come online late next year.
- In the past year, the Commonwealth has opened seven new veteran benefits offices – with local offices in Manassas, Loudoun County, Fairfax and Springfield.
- Substantial progress has been made on improving military transition to civilian life.
Top 4 Priorities of Governor Northam
- Transition and Jobs – The goal is for V3 certified companies to hire 35K jobs during his term.
- Help military spouses – Virginia is the first state to provide blanket transfer of teaching licenses so spouses teaching in other states can teach in VA without re-certifying. Virginia also has reciprocal agreements in healthcare for nurses who are military spouses. The Department of Veterans Services will continue to work with the Department of Professional Regulation to support additional transfer of credit and licensure through reciprocity to enable military spouses to continue their professional careers as they relocate to the Commonwealth with their military service member.
- Increasing support to women veterans.
- Suicide prevention
Mr. Areizaga-Soto congratulated SOWW on creating such a beneficial organization and retreat. He said that Governor Northam, who served as an Army doctor and did his residency at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and treated soldiers wounded in Operation Desert Storm while serving in Germany, would really appreciate the work that Serve Our Willing Warriors is providing to our nation’s healing service members and their families.