Winners of the 3rd Annual Vettys

We are so proud and excited to award such spectacular individuals and organizations with our Vetty statuette at the 3rd Annual Veterans Awards. Although it was difficult for our Board of Governors to select just five winners out of numerous honorable nominees, we recognize the extra mile that our recipients go for the veterans community. Join us in celebrating such excellent public service at the Mayflower Hotel on January 20, 2018. It will be a night you won't want to miss. Please see the link below to learn about our winners.

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Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs, Inc. 

Mental Health

Recipient has made a significant difference in the lives of veterans whose wounds can’t be seen. Recipient has provided services/methods to replace feelings of despair with hope. 

To reduce the number of veteran suicides and improve the lives of our veterans, Guardian Angels Medical Service Dogs, Inc. provide them with individually trained medical service dogs at no cost. They call this creating a beautiful "New Normal". Their goal is to increase public awareness of service dogs, and assist in legislation protecting service dogs and their handlers.

Through exceptional effort, Guardian Angels has now paired more than 200 service dogs with our heroes. Because of this work, and the extraordinary efforts that go into training these dogs to meet the specific needs of each individual recipient - they have experienced ZERO recipient suicides once a veteran is paired with one of our service dogs.

Visit their website at this link to learn more:  

Dustin Perkins | Director of Marketing | Student Veterans of America


Recognizes an institution that has surpassed expectations in its ability to provide high-level education opportunities to military members. 

Since SVA’s founding in 2008, over one million veterans have returned home to pursue a post-secondary degree or certificate using VA education benefits. To meet this need, SVA’s presence at the local and national levels has grown to include over 1,300 chapter affiliates, numerous private and nonprofit partners, and most importantly, an expanding list of impactful programs and services for veterans.

Dustin works closely with veterans to ease the transition from active duty into civilian life. He has been working with this organization for 1.5 years and, before that, was the president of Veterans Club at his college. He did this work for a period of 2 years. Dustin has been actively involved in helping Veterans make the transition from military life to civilian life through education and assisting with program to better their life. He helped broker relationships with over 50 colleges in Illinois to acknowledge service members. The SVA Illinois Chapter is proud in his and their accomplishments in assisting Student Veterans access all the resources and programs available to them throughout the State of Illinois

Visit their website at this link to learn more:

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Sarah Verardo | Executive Director | The Independence Fund


Influential member of the veterans community that has demonstrated outstanding leadership potential and serves as a role-model to remaining community members.

The Independence Fund, which to date has awarded nearly 2000 all terrain wheelchairs to severely wounded veterans. Sarah has worked closely with key community leaders, at the White House, the VA, and in Congress to enact real change for our nation's veterans. She never meets a veteran without giving her cell phone number and then a follow up to ensure that he/she is receiving what they should. She fights for the community as a whole and has spent the past several years making real improvements to the VA process for the wounded. With the Independence Fund she developed a comprehensive caregiver program to ensure that military caregivers have access to peer support, respite and resources. She peer mentors other wives of wounded veterans and helps them navigate a difficult system.

Visit the Independence Fund's website at this link to learn more:

Bunker Labs


Recipient provides a structured and productive employment plan to veterans as they assimilate back into civilian life, ensuring their financial stability.

Bunker Labs was created by military veterans for veterans to start and grow businesses. 25% of transitioning service members want to start a business and they need places inside their community where they can connect with the people, resources, and support they need to start and grow their businesses.

Not only is Bunker Labs helping veterans create businesses it is also employing veterans as executive directors and other leadership positions at each of its locations across the country. Bunker Labs has helped create more than $50M in revenue as well over 1170 jobs for the companies in its programs.

Visit their website at this link to learn more:

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National Veterans Legal Services Program


Organization or individual that connects and unites the veterans community as a whole and enriches their lives while doing so.

The National Veterans Legal Services Program (NVLSP) is a nonprofit organization that has worked since 1980 to ensure that the government delivers to our nation's 25 million veterans and active duty personnel the benefits to which they are entitled because of disabilities resulting from their military service to our country. The National Veterans Legal Services Program serves United States veterans from all branches of service, current service-members, and their dependents, in all 50 states.

Over the last 35 years, NVLSP has assisted hundreds of thousands of veterans to secure disability compensation benefits for the injuries they sustained during their military service. Veterans confront two systemic obstacles to securing those benefits: rules and practices applied by the VA, DoD, and military service branches that deny Congressionally mandated benefits, and multi-year delays in the processing of veterans’ claims and appeals because of the VA’s bureaucratic inefficiency.

NVLSP’s impact is demonstrated by the major improvements to laws and the payment of billions of dollars in disability compensation to veterans over the past three decades. The success of the National Veterans Legal Services Program is based on our expertise, effectiveness, impact and collaborations.

Visit their website at this link to learn more:

Steven D. Vincent | Senior Business Development Manager | tiag® (The Informatics Applications Group, Inc.)

Honorary Vetty

Steve Vincent is a stalwart advocate and dedicated leader in the veteran community, inspired by his prior military service and a personal sense of duty to empower the successful integration of veterans into the civilian workforce. In his quest to help active-duty military, veterans and employers overcome obstacles intrinsic in military-to-civilian workforce transitions, Steve applies his unique insights into the cultural, systemic and language challenges veterans face — fused with personal experiences gleaned from his 25-year U.S. Navy career, during which he mastered progressively complex leadership roles.

Serving as a role model to other members of the veteran community, Steve has mentored hundreds of individual veterans on everything from resume and interview prep to professional development and education counseling. Going the extra mile, Steve connects veterans via his vast personal and professional network of recruiters, advocacy groups and other veterans who have successfully transitioned, and coordinates informational interviews with industry professionals who understand the value of military talent. From the other side of the desk, Steve has trained recruiting and HR teams for numerous employers seeking to improve veteran hiring programs. He also assists federal, state and local government employers by identifying veteran candidates for their open positions.


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George A. Chewning, II | Director of Governmental Affairs | Global War on Terror Memorial Foundation

Honorary Vetty

George Chewning is the Director of Governmental Affairs of the Global War on Terror Memorial Foundation, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, and was the driving force behind Congress’ approval in August 2017 of the National Global War on Terrorism Memorial which will be constructed on the National Mall. George is a former Army infantry officer who deployed to Afghanistan in 2013 and is a graduate of West Point and The George Washington University’s MBA program. The memorial will honor our fallen warriors and U.S. service members who served in Iraq, Afghanistan and other post-9/11 military campaigns, as well as their families and those who supported our nation’s longest war. The space will also serve as our nation’s central location to grieve, remember, and heal the wounds of this conflict, much as the Vietnam Wall did for its generation of veterans. 

During business school, George was selected by Andrew Brennan, the founder and executive director of the Foundation, to lead the effort in persuading members of Congress to approve the memorial as required by federal law. Drawing on his leadership experience as an infantry officer, George made the rounds on Capitol Hill for over a year, gathering support for the effort. President Trump signed the bill into law on August 18th. Congress also designated the Foundation to oversee all aspects of fundraising, design, and construction for the memorial. 

Veterans Choice Award

A prominent individual in the veterans community will be recognized for their exceptional work and service to veterans. Voted on by the veterans community.

The Veterans Choice Award will be announced at the 3rd Annual Veterans Awards on January 20, 2018 at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D.C. 

Tickets are available for purchase linked below: