Veterans are choosing to serve local communities by becoming fire and rescue personnel.
Dale City Volunteer Fire Department (DCVFD) Technician Victor Angry and Prince William County Police Department (PWCPD) Chief Barry Barnard spoke about veterans who serve with emergency agencies.
Northern Virginia (NOVA) Veterans Association held the meeting at the Manassas Regional Airport Terminal on Tuesday.
Barnard focused on wellness.
“The well-being of police officers, the well-being of veterans is paramount; it’s just A1,” he said. “We have people who have been injured and people who have retired … We have people who are under a tremendous amount of stress due to job responsibilities and things in their life.”
Peer support counselors and programs are used to support police officers.
Most PWCPD applicants are young adults and some are individuals who have retired from the military.
Many of those Barnard speaks with are enthusiastic about joining the department.
“It’s just so nice that they come for the right reasons,” Barnard said. “Those are the people we’re looking for … who have that passion to serve and who want to make a difference.”
Angry, who was in the United States Army for 23 years, discussed what he has seen in the DCVFD.
About 10 percent of those who volunteer at the four stations are veterans and some members have family who served as firefighters.
Other individuals Angry has spoken with simply want to lend a hand.
“I just found it interesting that the biggest thing was all about service, people just want to give back,” Angry said.