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AMMILVETS to hold grand opening for expansion

June 21, 2018
By CJ HADDAD ( , Cape Coral Daily Breeze

The American Military Veterans Foundation, or AMMILVETS, is opening a new facility to better serve veterans in need in Southwest Florida.

The AMMILVETS Foundation-SWFL Rod Rack will have its grand opening Wednesday, June 27, at 6 p.m..

Expanding their reach has always been a goal for the 5013 charity, which offers numerous programs designed to help veterans cope with PTSD and stress management.

"We've been looking to expand, but found we weren't ready for a big jump," said National board member of AMMILVETS and Veteran Service Officer Keith Campbell.

"We were able to attain the building behind our current location, where veterans pitched in to help with the build out of the new facility."

All programs offered were run out of their headquarters in Cape Coral; this expansion gives AMMILVETS the opportunity to build on these programs and increase the number of veterans they can help.

"Before, it could get a little crowded in our building if we had classes and counseling going on at once. Now the veterans have their own space with a crisis manager on duty at all times," Campbell said.

He added that they will be able to staff more therapists and hold three to four more peer- to- peer groups per week.

Headquarters will continue to be a Veteran Safe Zone, a place free of drugs and alcohol, where veterans can find a safe place to talk to others with similar military backgrounds.

"We try to partner anyone feeling troubled with a peer mentor who shares similarities, usually someone from the same branch who may have fought in a similar climate who they can relate to," said Campbell.

A popular program the AMMILVETS host is fishing rod building classes.

Campbell said they are broadening the program and have even started teaching civilians.

AMMILVETS also offers alternative therapy for veterans such as their family retreat program and guitars for veterans.

Along with the opening, the group will be announcing its new bill for CAMO Alert.

"This system is to help community and law enfacement understand the severity of a missing veteran or first responder that may not be in their right thoughts," he said.

This alert would be similar to Amber and Silver Alerts - giving name, last known location and other details about the person sought.

These alerts would be used in serious situations, when red flags arise and, potentially, even a suicide note left.

Campbell hopes to travel to Washington, D.C. in September to meet with senators about CAMO Alert going national.

Anglers will also be able to find all of their fishing needs at the rod rack, with veterans getting great discounts according to Campbell.

The new building is at 1409 N.E. Pine Island Road, Building 6 Unit C in Cape Coral.

The headquarters still remains at the above address, Building 5 Unit D.



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