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Veteran-Focused Nonprofit Aims to Create New Opportunities Through Partnerships in Acadiana

Acadiana Veteran Alliance (AVA), a new veteran-founded nonprofit organization that helps veterans throughout Acadiana, will provide a fully developed support system to assist them through their needs in both their personal and professional life.

Posted: Jul 13, 2020 9:10 AM

Lafayette, LA – Acadiana Veteran Alliance (AVA), a new veteran-founded nonprofit organization that helps veterans throughout Acadiana, will provide a fully developed support system to assist them through their needs in both their personal and professional life.
“As a veteran myself, I have seen firsthand the struggles many of them face. Whether it be in finding a job, dealing with PTSD, or even having a roof over their head,” said Andrew Ward, President/Founder of the AVA and former Infantry with the 256th Infantry Brigade of the Louisiana Army National Guard. “These reasons are just some of the examples as to why we wanted to create an organization that supports veterans and servicemembers every step of the way. This will truly be a collaborative effort from the Acadiana community to provide a unifying voice for those that served their country and fought to protect our freedoms. We look forward to being there for them whenever they need, with whatever their needs are.”
Acadiana Veteran Alliance’s mission is threefold – Work, Heal, and Give. Through Work, they will unite veterans, veteran-owned businesses, and businesses in Acadiana for potential job creations and work placement, which they have established a partnership with NextOp Vets to build this network. The Heal portion is meant to provide veterans with any mental health assistance they need by connecting to quality private healthcare providers and is implementing the software “Unite Us” with assistance from United Way of Acadiana to make those referral connections. Lastly, they want to Give by contributing to other established veteran organizations and nonprofits while assisting with financial, legal, or housing assistance to those in need.
“We want to offer veterans all of the tools they need to be successful in life, as well as to remain happy and healthy,” said Levi Kastner, Vice President of the AVA and former Infantry with the 256th Infantry Brigade of the Louisiana Army National Guard. “Our team is well connected to those throughout the community and highly skilled, which will aid in our growth and ability to provide even more for our veterans.”
In addition to Ward and Kastner, the advisory board for Acadiana Veteran Alliance consists of 15 other members, including: Jonathan Deshotels, Secretary/Treasurer and former First Sergeant with the 256th Infantry Brigade of the Louisiana Army National Guard; Jason Patout, Gulf Coast Bank; Ben Broussard, Catholic Charities of Acadiana / St. Michael Center for Veterans; Andre Fontova, Blast Tech; Billy Hobbs, BWPR; Chip Perrin, Black Cypress Cattle Co. and Former Member of the United States Marine Corps; Jared Seré, SolVet Services and Former Member of the United States Marine Corps; Joey Calandra, Avionics Solutions and Former Member of the United States Navy; Erick Knezek, Oceanetics and Former Member of the United States Navy; Ken Stansbury, Cornerstone Financial Group, Youngsville City Council Member, and Former Member of the United States Air Force; Jonathan Davis, Turnkey Title and Former Member of the United States Air Force; Scott Giffin, Professional Arts Pharmacy and Former Member of the 3/156th Infantry Division of the Louisiana National Guard; Tyler Racca, The Orchard, 337 Media, and Former Member of the United States Air Force; Steven Ramos, Stuller and Current Member of the Louisiana Army National Guard; and Dr. Creig Shute, Elite DPC and Former Member of the United States Navy and Army.
“Everyone that we have spoken with thus far has been supportive of our mission and wanting to know how they can get involved. It is extremely rewarding, humbling, and inspiring, and we couldn’t be more excited for what all is to come,” stated Ward.
Businesses, as well as individuals, can support the Acadiana Veteran Alliance by becoming an “Alliance Member” for an annual donation fee of $250 that goes directly to benefiting the organization, and furthering their mission and vision.
For more information about Acadiana Veteran Alliance, visit www.supportava.org.

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