Who are we?
In 1987, the Vietnam Veterans Group of San Quentin (“V.V.G.S.Q.”) was formed to help Vietnam Veterans incarcerated at San Quentin begin pursuing a vision of recovery from trauma and other things in life that affect the way human beings react and behave. The V.V.G.S.Q. became an inmate activity group and its membership includes all veterans who have served honorably in the United States Armed Forces and received discharges under honorable conditions.
The group has since expanded its vision to holding fund drives to support worthy community causes that directly effect veterans and charitable causes within the community. These causes include a Scholarship Award, Operation M.O.M., and the Christmas Toy Drive.
In 1998, the V.V.G.S.Q. set up a seminar with the California Department of Veterans Affairs and the North Bay Vets center. From this seminar, the Veterans Issues Group (V.I.G.) was conceived and implemented at San Quentin.
Under the direction of professional staff, individualized, comprehensive and integrated services to veterans takes place every Wednesday evening in the Education module for the sole purpose of successful reintegration into society. Additionally, the V.I.G. program reaches incarcerated veterans with viable programs for reentering society, and to assist group members in contacting various resources to accomplish these objectives.
Furthermore, the V.V.G.S.Q. is involved with various projects and activities, such as the R.E.A.L. choices program, to reach and educate adolescent lives to be productive members of society. Team “C” of the Choices program is made up of members of the Vietnam Veterans Group of San Quentin.
Another activity the V.V.G.S.G. supports is Operation M.O.M.. Operation M.O.M. is a non-profit organization that supports our troops deployed throughout the world. The V.V.G.S.Q. supports Operation M.O.M. with cash, material donations, clerical assistance and packing care packages with food, hygiene, and clothing packages. Also, we assist Operation M.O.M. with custom declarations, labels and mail out donation requests.
The Toy program is very dear to our group, too. We have always supported the San Quentin Toy program with donations and helping the program. This year, 2008, will be the 20th year of the program. The warden has authorized the V.V.G.S.Q. to sponsor this worthy program.
Recently, the V.V.G.S.Q. decided to support “Tabs for Tots” as well (“Tabs,” as in soda can tabs). Tabs for Tots are supported through the Vietnam Veterans of the Vietnam War (“V.Vn.W.”) Post FLI-02 in Belle Glade, FL and the V.V.G.S.Q. is CAI-01, the first chapter in California that the V.Vn.W. chartered into their organization. The proceeds from our fundraising will assist Ronald McDonald charities with their efforts to help sick children diagnosed with cancer and their families.
Finally, the Stamps for Soldiers and Color Guard are operated by the V.V.G.S.Q.
Stamps for Soldiers are cancelled stamps which are collected from mainline, Condemned Row and R/C prisoners. After collecting the stamps, they are sent to disabled veterans. The disabled veterans peel off the stamps as a form of physical therapy and create “collages” and other works of art.
The V.V.G.S.Q. provides a color guard at the GED and college graduation, the September 11 remembrance and other functions as requested by custody staff and/or non-custody staff.
Who are we?