C&S Wholesale Grocers proudly supports the Student Conservation Association's innovative program: the Veterans Fire Corps.
Established in 2010 in cooperation with the US Forest Service, the Veterans Fire Corps trains recent-era veterans in community fire protection and fuel reduction methods, and then deploys teams in national forests, parks and refuges. The Student Conservation Association, a national leader in service and stewardship, developed the initiative to combine its conservation expertise with the needs and skills of veterans from all branches of the armed services who are returning to civilian life.
Although the tools and equipment may be different from their military duty, veterans in the 13-week program are exposed to hazards inherent in fighting wildfires and must rely on their teams to safely accomplish their missions. An additional benefit of the program is that the vets receive certification in firefighting and conservation. More than 75% of Veterans Fire Corps alumni are currently employed or furthering their studies in wildland fire and forestry. Veterans Fire Corps teams also have provided quick response to natural disasters, such as Superstorm Sandy.
Said one Marine veteran who received a Purple Heart in Afghanistan, "The Veterans Fire Corps gave me a sense of purpose. It gave me a uniform again and a job of importance."
C&S has provided both a cash grant and an in-kind donation of food for two 90-day training sessions held for 80 veterans at the Colorado Fire Camp. The food provided for the veterans includes meal staples like grains, legumes, pasta, coffee, tea, and snack items such as granola bars.