Veterans Initiative

Veterans have served us.  It is our turn to serve them.

There are nearly 60,000 veterans in our eight county region. The number is anticipated to rise, as enlistment rates of people from southern states have been increasing in recent years.

Transitioning back into civilian life is hard for many veterans returning home. They face a variety of needs, including job training, employment, health (physical and mental), housing assistance and education.

Taking Action

The Community Foundation’s Veterans Initiative is a four year, $600,000 effort to identify and address the most pressing needs of our local veterans and their families.

The Traveling Wall

The names of more than 58,000 American soldiers who lost their lives are etched in the shiny black granite, known as the Vietnam Memorial Wall. The Wall is one of the most visited memorials in Washington, D.C. The Traveling Wall replica exhibit in Mobile, brought a generation of  South Alabama veterans a step closer to healing and helped educate the region on the casualties of a war that divided our nation.

Veterans Needs Assessment

The first step in our Veterans Initiative was to conduct a Southwest Alabama Veterans Needs Assessment.  As a result of these findings and the recommendation of our Veteran Advisory Committee, the Foundation identified the following primary objectives for the competitive grant program.

  • Improving awareness of available services
  • Addressing the underlying causes of substance abuse
  • Providing therapy for mental health issues
  • Offering treatment for substance abuse

The grants awarded to local nonprofits support these primary objectives and provide direction and treatment to bolster the lives of these heroes who live among us.

On Veterans Day 2017, the Community Foundation established the Veterans Fund. As an endowed fund, the initial gift given by the Jacobson family will remain untouched while the income from the investment will be awarded in the form of grants to organizations working on Veterans Issues. This legacy gift will continue to provide for the needs of our service men and women in our community for many years to come.

Grant Awards

So far, the Community Foundation of South Alabama has awarded over $450,000 in competitive grants to local nonprofit organizations dedicated to serving veterans in Southwest Alabama. These grants support the development and implementation of programs that provide a focused, innovative approach for meeting the needs of veterans and their families in the Foundation’s eight-county service area.

2018 Grant Awards:

Bayou Clinic, Inc. – $100,000, multi-year grant 

Equine Therapy Group Foundation – $15,000, multi-year grant 

Lifelines Counseling Services – $96,000, multi-year grant 

Heroes On the Water – $5,000 grant 

Housing First, Inc.  – $80,000 grant 

Service Dogs Alabama – $24,000 multi-year grant (matching)

Veteran Recovery Resources – $100,000 challenge grant 

2016 Grant Awards

Blue Star Salute Foundation – $7,500.00 grant

Equine Therapy Group Foundation – $10,000.00 grant 

2015 Grant Awards

Alabama State Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Spanish Fort Foundation –$1,300 grant 

Volunteers of America Southeast – $20, 511 grant 

Veterans Initiative Advisory Council

Samuel “Duke” Walker - Chairman

Samuel “Duke” Walker - Chairman

Captain, USCG (Ret)

Josten’s Inc, Southeast Manager of Scholastic Division

Steven D. Carey

Steven D. Carey

Colonel, USAF (Ret.)

CertaPro Painters of Mobile & Baldwin Counties, Owner

Dr. Michael Chambers

Dr. Michael Chambers


University of South Alabama, Assistant Vice President for Research Innovation

Janet L. Cobb

Janet L. Cobb

MG, USA (Ret.)

USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park, Executive Director

Christopher L. Lee

Christopher L. Lee


The J. L. Bedside Foundation, Executive Director

Louis J. Lartigue Sr.

Louis J. Lartigue Sr.

LTC, USA (Ret)

South Alabama Veterans Council, President

John S. Moses

John S. Moses

Lieutenant, USN Reserve

Bay Chevrolet, Inc., President

Pete Riehm

Pete Riehm

CDR, USN (Ret)

NAI Mobile, Commercial Real Estate Broker