UNION, NJ – About 40 veterans were beneficiaries of the Union-based New Jersey Veterans Network (NJVN) business suit and attire clothing give-away at the Union VFW Monday morning.

“Coming here means everything to me,” said veteran Patrick Machayo.  “To see the community reaching out to us veterans, who are traumatized and seeking help, to make sure that our needs are met so that we can be meaningful members of society, means everything to me as a veteran.”  Machayo served in the army in Iraq and is currently being treated for PTSD.  “This is one step towards getting me grounded and back into society and feeling whole again.”

“On behalf of the New Jersey Veterans Network (NJVN), we’re honored to be able to help three homeless veteran groups today,” said NJVN President Michael Boll. Boll said veterans from Veterans Haven North, Operation Valor and the Lyons VA attended the suit give-away.  “We gave away 40 suits, and other clothing, shirts and ties to these veterans.” 

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Boll said a Veterans Service Officer was also on hand to help veterans with any questions about benefits or resources they may have.  Veterans were then treated to a lunch, donated to the organization by Burnet BBQ.

“This is perfect for me,” said Marine Corps veteran Tom.  “Now I’ll have something to wear to help me find employment.  This is very nice.”

Boll said the clothing drive, which took place throughout Union County, produced over 400 business suits and about 1,000 other various pieces of business clothing.  “Our charity is extremely fortunate to have the overwhelming support from the community and various social clubs throughout the state,” said Boll.

Partnering with the NJVN for the clothing drive were the Islamic Center of Union County and Temple Sha’arey Shalom of Springfield.

The New Jersey Veterans Network accepts new team members.  Anyone interested in joining should contact Michael Boll at Mdbollio@optonline.net or 973-332-1556.