On Veterans Day in 2017, Rep. Mike Gallagher officially launched the Northeast Wisconsin (NEW) Battalion and Welcome Home Sponsor Program in Green Bay. The program’s purpose is to provide recently returned servicemen and women in Northeast Wisconsin a sponsor or guide to help eliminate any frustration they encounter upon re-entering civilian life. Sponsors will help guide veterans to the many services and programs that are available to them in Brown County and the state of Wisconsin.
Brown County— or the Bravo Company—is the program’s pilot location. If the program enjoys success in Brown County, Rep. Gallagher would like to see other counties in the 8th District adopt the same model. There will be no cost or obligation for veterans to use this program. Sponsors must be veterans to participate.
Congressman Gallagher said: “Having served two back to back deployments in Iraq, I know firsthand that the transition from military to civilian life can be difficult. Since being elected in January, I have had numerous veterans contact me about the difficulty they are having getting re-established into the community. By creating a sponsor relationship between veterans, these recently returned vets will be better equipped to successfully navigate civilian life, and will know where to find the resources that are available to them in Northeast Wisconsin.”
What local veteran advocates are saying about the program:
“Caring for our returning heroes is a high priority in Brown County, which is why I’m supporting this new program. We want to be able to help veterans reconnect with their community so the brave men and women can more easily transition into a successful civilian life." - Troy Streckenbach, Brown County Executive
“When I was discharged, I was more worried about getting home than the information I was provided of resources available to me in the veterans’ community. I believe that the NEW Battalion will be an important resource to returning veterans reinforcing the information they received, but might not remember, making their re-connecting to the community that much easier.” - Mark Bonovetz, Veteran Advocate
“Having a fellow veteran willing to sponsor a veteran returning to the community is important and helps returning service men and women deal with issues immediately before they spiral out of control.” - Dick Marbes, Veteran Advocate
“The ability to provide a resource to returning veterans that makes transitioning to civilian life easier is both necessary and important. We need to help connect them to the many wonderful programs and support services that are already available in our community providing our veterans with warm handoffs.” - Ken Corry, Veteran Volunteer & Advocate
For more information on how to participate, please contact Rep. Gallagher's office.