February Message from the WI Veterans Chamber Staff

What Our Community Pillar Means To Us

"The Community Pillar is my favorite part of the Chamber. I personally love nothing more than to give back to my community. You will see me singing or volunteering for The Red Cross all the time. The Chamber is all about having a strong foundation and what better place to build that than in your local community. That is also why Veterans Light Up Arts is so important. I am a performing veteran and nothing brings me more joy and peace than giving my gift back to this world."
- Kit Amidzich, Membership Director 

"Veterans Light Up the Arts is a one-of-a-kind event, and exceptionally important for our community. In addition to celebrating arts of all kinds, this event works to dispel stereotypes often associated with veterans and military members: inflexible, lacking creativity, robotic, homogenous, and the like. In truth, the American military is the most diverse organization in the world, comprised of citizens that exhibit a wide array of talents and skills - which includes (but is not limited to) visual, dramatic, performance, and musical arts."- Adam Braatz, Program Director

"The Community Pillar is personally my favorite pillar. Being a military spouse, my husband was away often, and my outlet was playing my instruments. Finding that time to escape from all the stress and worry of the day and just play music for hours was all I needed. Music can help a person find peace. I am a supporter of local nonprofits organizations that help veterans find their voice in music and/or art. This is why Veterans Light Up the Arts is so important to me. It allows a veteran, spouse, or service member to showcase their talent. It also helps others find the inspiration or mentor to start painting, photography, singing, poetry and so on. We all can be artists and find our voice. We just need to be willing to take that leap." - Erin Gagnon, Communications Director

"Expanding economic opportunity for Wisconsin veterans, service members, and their families means ensuring every veteran has every opportunity to succeed and reach their full potential. Community organizations around the state are addressing critical needs- from health care to housing to employment and education. We are proud to support these community partners, and proud to connect businesses around the state with these worthy nonprofit organizations working diligently to ensure veterans and military service members have the resources and support they have earned. Our veterans community and network of community organizations make Wisconsin the most veteran friendly state in the country." - Saul Newton, Executive Director

"I think it's important to give back to the community because so many of us have had to ask for help from a family member or neighbor. Once we manage to overcome some adversity not only does it make us stronger, but it can be used as an example for someone else who may be going through the same thing. There is always someone who can use a hand and what better way to show that when arranged with care. Stumbling blocks can be made into stepping stones."- Randy Bryce, Deputy Membership Director