New home for Focus on Vets

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New home for Focus on Vets

Post by Loader on Fri 17 Mar 2017, 11:00

By Tim Miller, intelligencer.ca


QUINTE WEST — A program focused on teaching veterans the art of photography has found a new home.

Local photographer Brad Denoon has been running the free Focus on Vets course since late 2015 and, in that time, has shown close to 30 veterans the ins and outs of the technical art.

A change in circumstances however, momentarily left the program without a home to call its own.

Denoon, a veteran himself, says his first thought was “how do I fix it?”

“One of the things that you learn very quickly in the service is that you don’t make the problem worse by guessing. You work the problem.”

It was while working this problem that Denoon came into contact, through a mutual acquaintance, with Kelly Briggs, veteran family program coordinator at the Trenton Military Family Resource Centre (MFRC).

“They got us in contact and we talked about it and she suddenly became very excited about the concept of having this taking place at the MFRC,” said Denoon.

Briggs said the program fits perfectly within the MFRC’s Veteran Family Program — a joint initiative between Veterans Affairs Canada and Military Family Services.

The Trenton MFRC is one of seven pilot sites for the Veteran Family Program.

In her role at the MFRC, Briggs works with medically released and releasing service members — supporting them and their families as they transition out of the service.

“Everything we currently do for military families is now available to them for two years after they medically release,” said Briggs.

The MFRC does what it can to help military members who are leaving the service, whether medically releasing or otherwise, integrate back into their communities, said Devon Taylor, communications and development coordinator at the MFRC.

“Being a military member for x number of years, that’s sort of your identity and we want to make sure that we offer programs like this Focus on Vets,” said Taylor.

“It sort of helps them connect with things that speak to them, that they become passionate about,” she added, pointing to a painting program offered by the organization which has had a strong positive response as another example

Taylor was quick to point out that, while military families are the main focus for the MFRC, they also provide many programs and services which are open to the overall community.

“It all ties back into ensuring that military families feel welcome and feel supported by the general community that they’re living in,” she said.

The first meeting under the umbrella of the MFRC took place last week and began with a bit of an unexpected twist.

“Four people didn’t show up that were registered, and five people that weren’t registered did,” laughed Denoon.

“I don’t care if one person shows up, as long as somebody’s getting something out of it, it’s worth it,” he added.

Denoon said what he finds special about photography is how it allows you to, for just a single moment, stop time.

“And to me that moment’s important.”

He also said there’s nothing better than seeing that “aha” moment when one of his shutterbug students realizes just what they’re capable of behind the lens

“You’ve bettered their life in some way which, as far as I’m concerned, is golden.”

On March 23 from 5:30 p.m. To 8 p.m. The MFRC will be holding a Community Conversation event on for medically released/releasing veterans and their families.

“So people can come in and hear about what we’ve done in the program in the last year but also to talk about what programs that they’re seeking going forward,” said Briggs.

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Re: New home for Focus on Vets

Post by Guest on Fri 17 Mar 2017, 12:18


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