Veterans Initiative in Technology, Aerospace & Logistics is a registered 501, C-19 non-profit, whose mission is to create career employment in our manufacturing sector for our Patriots, especially our most deserving citizen, our disabled American veteran.
Veterans Initiative was formed during the winter of 2001/2002 in Colville,WA. The sponsoring organization was the Frank Starr American Legion Post # 47. Frank Starr enlisted in the USA during WWI and was shipped to France. He was killed in action; his spirit forever remains in a French graveyard; RIP dear Patriot.
The formers of our group were:
- Robert Allen, USMC, Artillery, Korean War
- John Gardner, USAAF/USAF, Bombigator, WWII/Korean War
- Doc Severtsen, USA, Green Beret, Vietnam War
- John Fitzgerald, USN, FMF Corpsman, Vietnam Era
After some investigation, it was decided to incorporate as 501,C-19 non-profit. A C-19 (IRS Pamphlet # 554) and as its mission, the general welfare of widows and orphans of deceased military veterans.
Following the passing of three of our founding members, a new Board of Directors was formed with some modification to the original mission. It was decided that a more focused approach was necessary to address some of the needs of our returning Patriots.
Our new mission has as its goal, the creation of employment in the manufacturing sector. Our new board consists of mechanics, machinists, chemists and engineers, disciplines entirely complementary to this new direction.
The Board then decided to look for a suitable location for a manufacturing school. Many possibilities were investigated which included existing industrial parks and out-lying airfields. The eastern portions of Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Nevada were visited over the next four years. During this time, one of our Board members (a small DoD contractor to the USAF) and a group of aero-space employees established a modest school in his machine shop to teach the basics of manufacturing to a group of MilVets. This entry into the management of a school (however small) resulted in a lot more unknowns than the Board had solutions for (ie. vertical learning curve).
At this juncture, the Board knew that a secure location must be found for this school. after visiting and evaluating 11 industrial parks and 13 small out-lying airfields, it was decided to purchase land somewhat remote, to avoid the pernicious effects inherent in the 'Big City'.
Land was eventually purchased in the NE corner of Nevada near the hamlet of Montello, a watering station for the 19th century 'Puffer-Bellies' near the conjunction of the Central Pacific and Union Pacific Railroads. (1245 hours, 10 May 1869)
A quarter mile of power was brought in, a 4 acre 'Pea Patch' was graded and excavation was begun for the school building. This land is situated between 10,000 foot mountains, beautiful sunrises, sunsets, and inky-dark skies.
Subsequent to this, 23 machine tools were purchased from other machine shops, aerospace and defense corporations, and several DoD installations. These machine tools include lathes (engine and toolroom), milling (vertical and horizontal), grinders (bench, surface and plain OD), and a 50-ton press brake. In addition, hundreds of assorted cutters, end mills, collets and tool holders, and a suitable set of metrology instruments were purchased.
The early formation of our efforts are to be continued...