“I’m not a veteran, but I value their contribution and want to do something that helps them out,” local entrepreneur PJ Glassey explained, when we asked him about an upcoming benefit he’s promoting for a new veterans-assistance group. “Veterans are the reason we are still a free country. While we all may not agree with all the various wars we get involved with, we can all agree that our soldiers are serving us to the point of risking their lives and that means a lot to me.”
The show Glassey – son of a Vietnam veteran as well as owner of X-Gym on Harbor Avenue- is promoting is coming up June 16th at Youngstown Cultural Arts Center in North Delridge, a “hypnosis/comedy” performance by Joe Black. Glassey says, “This event is kind of a ‘kickoff’ for the brand-new organization One Less Mountain, which helps veterans when they get home so they can cope, make the transition to civilian life and find the resources needed to make that switch.”
There’s no website for OLM yet, but board member Mark Pollek, a Vietnam veteran, explains that OLM is inspired by Hope for Heroism, a veterans’ peer-helping-peer group based in Israel. Pollek and others including Governor Gregoire’s husband Mike visited Israel to see how it works, and have since been talking with veterans’ and military groups to “see how we could best benefit vets recently discharged from the military.”
Pollek says OLM is starting with a “veteran-transition case-management program” and a “veteran connect program” involving activities “to bring vets together to tell their stories, hear what each other may be going through, validate each other’s concerns, and share methods of success.” The organization also is developing an education program to help corporate human resources people deal with “fear, concern, cultural differences” that may keep them from hiring veterans.
You can find out more at the June 16th comedy/hypnosis show. Tickets are $20, available through Brown Paper Tickets; the show is at 6:45 pm.