VIP Alexandria Magazine | June 2020

Page 44

SALUTE TO SERVICE presented by

Foundation of Freedom PTSD Awareness Month & The PenFed Foundation Story by Liesel Schmidt | Photography Courtesy of The PenFed Foundation


hese United States have been built on a foundation of freedom supported by a strong military presence and men and women who dedicate themselves each day to preserving our cherished way of life. As much as they give of themselves, it is still often a struggle to build a financially sound future for themselves and their families. Fortunately, organizations like PenFed Foundation are there to offer their support. “The mission of the Foundation is to empower military service members, veterans, and their communities with the skills and resources to realize financial stability and opportunity,” says General (Ret.) John W. Nicholson, who has held the position of President of PenFed Foundation since April of 2019. “We want to support this community to help prevent financial crises, help military and veterans have a home, and help veterans who want to build a business.”


Knowing the various ways in which active duty military personnel and veterans need assistance, PenFed Foundation has three core programs available. Launched in 2018, the Veteran Entrepreneur Investment Program (VEIP) helps veterans build their own businesses using a three-pronged approach that includes education, preparation, and investment. The Military Heroes Fund helps veterans prevent a crisis, providing emergency financial assistance and caregiver support. “We also launch emergency relief programs, such as a COVID-19 relief program in March 2020, which helped more than 560 veterans and service members experiencing a financial difficulty during the pandemic so far,” says Nicholson. The third core program offers closing cost and down payment assistance for the purchase of a first home. “We know that home ownership is a key marker of financial stability, so we help this become a reality for hundreds of families each year,” Nicholson notes.