VFV’s mission is to support returning veterans during their readjustment from military to civilian life. VFV’s goal is to provide safe and positive transitional housing providing a mixture of camaraderie, life skills, as well as educational and employment opportunities.
In-house and outsourced services include, but are not limited to the following:
- Full service living quarters
- Outsourced PTSD/Substance abuse treatment programs
- Finance and credit counseling
- Education/vocational counseling
- Resume building and job prospecting
VFV supports veterans during this challenging transition by helping to identify and recognize their valuable military skill set, and assists them in translating those skills into applicable civilian-life skills. In addition, VFV’s veterans stand committed to providing needed assistance to the elder veterans and families in their communities.
About Vets for Vets
Jake Leone began working with veterans returning from combat in 2005. When Jake returned from Iraq in 2004, he struggled throughout his transition with aggression, legal and financial issues. Luckily, he had the support of his mother and his faith to help him get his life back on track. It was then that Jake decided to commit himself to helping other young soldiers returning from combat that were facing the same issues as he once did.
In the beginning, he helped soldiers within the walls of his own home. He was making a difference, but he always envisioned a building and an organization where he would be able to provide the same assistance and support to multiple veterans at a time.
In 2013, that dream began to become a reality. With the support of residents and businesses in the Upper Perkiomen Valley, Vets for Vets (VFV) was born. Later that year, VFV became incorporated and the organization acquired the old Pennsburg post office building on 4th Street. When VFV started to renovate the building, it didn’t take long for members of the community to rally and assist with the renovation. Before the doors were even open for service, there were veterans knocking on the door for help! Many of these early veterans helped to renovate the building in exchange for a roof over their head.
During 2014 and 2015, Jake gathered a group of local veterans and community leaders to help in the development of the VFV program. Once the blueprint was established and the program’s protocol built, VFV began to expand to serve a wider range of veterans.
In 2016, VFV opened the female veteran wing and the first female was admitted.
In 2017, VFV is poised to open the small veteran family wing which will house a veteran and his/her immediate family.
To date, VFV’s program has served approximately 23 veterans in the VFV house, as well as hundreds throughout the community with the outreach program and onsite Veterans Affairs services. Currently, VFV’s success rate is approximately 85% in assisting our veterans with education enrollment, job placement and stable housing upon graduating our program.
VFV’s goal is to expand the organization into a larger facility. VFV is also considering the possibility of assisting neighboring communities to spearhead a similar business model.
While the focus of Vets for Vets is to help veterans in various stages of their lives, we could not function as a unit without the administration, volunteers and the vets themselves. Please take a moment to learn more about the various members of our administration.
Jason (Jake) Leone
Jason (Jake) Leone has been an enlisted serviceman of the United States Army/National Guard 53rd Support Battalion 1998 – 2004, 1-124th Infantry 2004 – 2008, 1-111th Mechanized Infantry 2008 – 2013 and is presently serving in the Air Force/National Guard with the 103rd Attack Squadron. During his term of enlistment, he has served in both foreign and domestic deployments. Staff Sergeant Leone has received multiple awards throughout his military career and distinguishes himself as an honorable member of the U.S. fighting forces.
Jake received his Bachelors in Advertising from the University of Florida in 2003 and has worked in medical equipment sales for over 8 years. Leone’s goal is to serve his country for as long as possible and continue to assist America’s veterans by any and all means possible.
Justin is a lifelong resident of Montgomery County and currently resides in Perkiomenville with his wife. He has several family members currently serving in the armed forces and many more friends and family members who previously served in various branches of the armed forces. Justin believes that our country has done far too little to support the veterans that have protected the liberties and freedoms that we enjoy on a daily basis. He considers it an honor to serve on the Board of Directors and hopes that his contributions to Vets for Vets play a small part in the mission of supporting veterans.
Stephen is a lifelong resident of Montgomery County. Originally from Schwenksville, he currently resides in Oreland with his wife and daughter. He has had many family members who have served honorably in the Armed Forces, dating back from his great grandfather to his father.
Stephen believes strongly that there is much more that can be done for those who have guarded our liberties. He has seen first hand that the VA is not enough for returning vets.
Stephen believes it is his duty and great honor to serve on the Board of Directors. His mission, through Vets for Vets, is helping and supporting our veterans in any capacity needed.
Sheila has spent most of her adult life working in Montgomery County for non-profits. She lives in Barto with her husband and has three adult children. She has had several family members, as well as her husband and the majority of his family, serve in the armed forces. Sheila’s husband is a Navy veteran who helped to instill a love of country and gratitude for our veteran’s sacrifices into their family. She is an active community member with a background in human services, volunteer management and customer service. She considers serving on the Vets for Vets Board of Directors to be an honor and privilege to provide a small difference to the veteran community.
Jan is currently serving in the Pennsylvania Army National Guard, with Alpha Company 55th MEB in Easton, PA. She enlisted in 2012 as an 88M Motor Transport Operator. Her dedication to helping veterans stems from following in the footsteps of many of her family members who have served our country. She has a history of volunteer work and hopes to bring the skills she’s learned to the Vets for Vets organization.
Veteran Outreach Coordinator
Brodie joined the United States Marine Corps Reserves shortly after high school. He attended training at Paris Island SC, Camp Lejune NC and Fort Sill OK. Upon completion of his training, he was assigned to India Battery 3/14 in Reading PA. He served for 10 years with India Battery as a field artillery cannoneer on the M198 Howitzer. During that time, he rose to the rank of Staff Sergeant and served one tour in Iraq as a platoon sergeant, overseeing perimeter security for a large base.
Since his discharge, Brodie has started his own home remodeling company, renovating homes and installing custom woodworking. He hopes to utilize these skills to help bring together the veterans of the community with the veterans in the program for the mutual benefit of both. His goal is to help Vets for Vets repay veterans for their honorable service.
Stacie grew up in the Upper Perkiomen Valley and currently resides in Macungie with her 2 dogs, Finn and Grady. She has had several family members and friends that have honorably served in the Armed Forces. She considers it a great honor to serve on the Vets for Vets Board of Directors.
Kris Baccari is founder and president of A Wildlife Pro, LLC (AWP), a Pennsylvania based, for-profit wildlife removal company.
For 15 years, Kris was in law enforcement, having served the boroughs of Emmaus and Quakertown before retiring in 2015. During this career, he worked as a patrol officer and in various other specialty positions to include investigator/detective. Kris is certified in Critical Incident Stress Management (CISM), a peer-driven approach to help victims of trauma deal with incidents one at a time and to return them to normal levels of function as quickly and safely as possible.
Kris founded AWP in 2007. He has grown the business to provide wildlife inspection, prevention, removal, repair and related services for residential and commercial clients across the country, leveraging a broad network of direct employees and closely managed contractors to provide prompt, professional and complete service every time. AWP aims to provide the best service in the industry at competitive prices, and has developed extensive training and practice procedures to ensure the job is done right every time.
A native of the Upper Perkiomen Valley, Kris has earned two A.A. degrees from Montgomery County Community College before graduating from the Montgomery County Police Academy. He went on to receive his B.A. from Albright University in Organizational Behavior/Applied Psychology.
Kris and his wife, Shannon, reside in Pennsburg, Pennsylvania with their 2 dogs, Bella and Chase. Deeply philanthropic, they dedicate much of their free time supporting the community, Vets for Vets (an honor to be part of), wildlife rescue and care programs, as well as other private non-profit organizations.
Robert Mazza was born in Philadelphia, PA but he and his family moved into Montgomery County over 30 years ago. He has spent 21 of those years in Limerick, PA where he currently resides. Bob has three wonderful children, seven fantastic grandchildren and his dog, Sadie.
Bob enlisted in the US Army out of high school. Like so many other young men of that era, he felt it was his patriotic duty to do so. He served two tours in Vietnam from February 1967 until October 1968 and was holding the rank of E-5 at the time of his honorable discharge.
Bob’s passion for his fellow veterans runs deeply, which is what led him to the Vets for Vets organization. He is committed to helping those in need, seeing as he himself is a combat veteran with service-connected disability. Bob both knows and understands the hardships that our veterans face daily and, therefore, considers it an honor to have dedicated himself to VFV’s mission.
Legals & Financials
Vets for Vets is a nonprofit, tax-exempt, publicly supported organization under Sections 501(c)(3) of the IRS Code, and is incorporated and registered in Pennsylvania. All donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law.