Nation’s Finest: Making Resolutions a Reality in 2023
A Message from CEO Chris Johnson
With the New Year on the horizon, a time traditionally marked by reflections and resolutions for positive change, I want to take a moment to thank everyone who supported Nation’s Finest in 2023 — from our dedicated employees to our passionate volunteers, donors, and partners.
As the season inspires many to set goals and make plans for the upcoming year, the Veterans we serve also share in this sentiment. Looking ahead to 2024, they have hopes for progress and success. Your efforts helped translate these resolutions into tangible realities for our Veterans throughout all of 2023.
Across our 31+ physical locations, including our newly established office in Vacaville, CA, Nation’s Finest case managers, housing locators, counselors, and other vital staff have committed themselves to delivering wraparound care to Veterans. For these exceptional individuals, the significance extends beyond mere statistics. Each instance represents unique individuals and families in 2023, each facing their own challenges. They all deserve substantial support and care following their extensive commitment to our country.
For Veterans living in more rural areas with limited access to services, support remains possible with our fleet of Mobile Service Units and the staff who spent 2023 hitting the roads in them. In our efforts to leave no Veteran behind, the ability to travel directly to those who’ve served allows us to provide them with the care and support they have rightfully earned.
To celebrate our 50th Anniversary, we embarked on a mission to honor those who, like our team and founders, have gone above and beyond to support our Veterans and our families. The Nation’s Finest 50 Award recognized 50 of those heroes in Washington, D.C. at a ceremony that reignited a collective passion for giving back to the Veteran community. Our team then built upon the impact of that event with the Nation’s Finest 50 Community Awareness Program. We traveled to multiple communities across the West to raise awareness of services available to Veterans, and to honor local heroes and advocates who are making a difference for Veterans and their families.
Reflecting on 50 years of Nation’s Finest, I am overwhelmed with pride for all of the people and communities that made our impact possible. From big cities like Sacramento and Washington, D.C. to rural pockets in California, Nevada, and Arizona, the extensive reach of the Nation’s Finest family truly embodied the “Nation” in “Nation’s Finest.”
Meeting Veterans, shaking hands, and listening to their powerful stories this year helped me understand how much of a difference we made in 2023. However, it also gave me a strong sense of the work that still needs to be done. Even today, there are pressing issues affecting U.S. Veterans:
40,000 Veterans are homeless on any given night.
250,000 Veterans are unemployed.
17 Veterans lose their lives to suicide every day.
25% of Veterans are struggling with mental health conditions.
In 2024, we aim to build on the success of 2023 to ensure that every Veteran receives the direct support they deserve. We are committed to addressing these statistics by recognizing that behind those numbers are individuals who have shown remarkable resilience in the face of adversity. Support Nation’s Finest in making our 51st year our most impactful one yet by making a tax-deductible, year-end donation today.