The city will honor its military heroes during the Pittsburgh Veterans Day Parade on Saturday, the event’s 100th anniversary. The procession starts at 10:30 a.m. at Liberty and 10th avenues and ends at Point State Park.
You can wave a flag and cheer for the men and women who’ve sacrificed so much for our country. You can also check out these local businesses and initiatives that support and celebrate our veterans.
Have a beer
There’s no better time to raise a cold one to a service member: Local veteran-run businesses First Sip Brew Box, Burgh’ers Brewing and Couch Brewery have teamed up to create a patriotic beer.
Esprit De Corps will be on tap at Couch’s Larimer headquarters, at Burgh’ers Brewing in Lawrenceville and Zelienople, and at VFW posts and American Legion locations throughout the region starting on Veterans Day.
We’re told this easy-drinking, American-style lager will appeal to younger, craft beer savvy veterans and their older counterparts alike: “The needs of veterans are changing and they deserve good beer,” says Dennis Guy, CEO of First Sip Brew Box.
Veterans Leadership Program of Western Pennsylvania
On Nov. 11, the Veterans Leadership Program (VLP) will host its annual Veterans’ Day Breakfast at Duquesne University. More than 600 service men and women are expected to attend, including 50-100 World War II vets, one of the biggest assemblies of Greatest Generation warriors in Western Pennsylvania.
The breakfast is just one service VLP provides. This nationwide initiative was founded in 1982, with hundreds of sites around the country. Today, Pittsburgh’s VLP is one of the few still in operation and it continues to grow. Each year, the Strip District-based organization assists upwards of 4,000 vets and their families with housing, employment and wellness programs.
Once they leave the service, vets only receive six months of pay (minus healthcare) from the military as they job hunt and map out the next chapter of their lives. VLP fills that gap by helping with rent payments, lending a hand during a crisis situation or simply motivating a person to get up off the couch if they’re struggling.
CEO Ben Stahl, a Navy veteran who joined the armed forces shortly after Sept. 11, 2001, says VLP doesn’t turn anyone away and takes a holistic approach to improving the lives of military members. Vets can apply for services online or walk into VLP’s headquarters at 2934 Smallman St.
By the Wayside Coffee
By the Wayside is where enlisted men and women go to have a cup of joe. This mobile cafe travels throughout the region selling hot and cold beverages and snacks. Mother-and-daughter owners Jaime and Abbey Dean buy supplies from vet-owned roasters and donate 10 percent of their earnings to five nonprofit partners: Community Care for the Military, Fleece Connection, Operation Strong Mind, Outdoor Immersion and Yellow Ribbon Girls. Active-duty military members get free regular coffees or 50-percent off specialty drinks.
Anthony Stough is on a mission to help his fellow veterans find their ideal post-military careers. He recently founded CIVEASE, a play on the common military term “civies” or civilian clothing. Through self-development articles and a podcast, as well as job fairs, networking events and workshops held throughout Pittsburgh, Stough is empowering people and helping them ease back into civilian life.
Commissioned as a U.S. Army Adjutant General Corps Officer in 2010, Stough found it difficult to make the transition back into the workforce. One year and 100 applications later, the college graduate finally landed a role … an undergraduate internship. Humbled by the position, he decided to help other vets find their rightful place in society.
On Wednesday, Nov. 20, CIVEASE will partner with the Robert Morris University Center for Veterans and Military Families to host a career development workshop in Moon Township on personal branding, using LinkedIn and interviewing. Interested in attending? You can email firstname.lastname@example.org to register.