Our Vision and Mission
At Returning Veterans of Diablo Valley, we envision a thriving military veteran community in the East Bay region of Northern California that reflects human values of belonging, friendship, social healing and psychological wholeness.
Talking and writing about the past is important because it can lead to healing. Here at Returning Veterans of Diablo Valley, we provide a safe space to express and integrate feelings and experiences through an at-your-own-pace writing and editing process, at no cost to Veterans.
Our broader mission is to provide quality and enriching community events, and other activities for modern-era Veterans who are students, working professionals, or have families; that develops our capacity to connect with others, that is collaborative, and service oriented.
To fulfill this mission, we offer events designed to fit into the lives of current-era Veterans and working professionals, which incorporates the lived experience and knowledge of RVDV members, and further develops the competencies needed to foster meaningful and sustainable change in the transition to civilian life.
We are currently in the process of applying for 501C3 tax exempt status.
What does the RVDV logo mean?
The Returning Veterans of Diablo Valley logo represents transition. Imagine the outer triangles being in flux, moving clockwise around a center core. In the very early years of our conception in 2010, it was designed to reflect a coming and going, a moving and returning. If you notice, the graphic is also the VFW logo inverted – as if it fell in on itself and came out the other side of a black hole. We wanted to create an organization that connected with the culture and needs of modern era returning Veterans. Since our creation, it has also taken on another meaning. A shield, or shell of protection – in the same way that a turtle shell protects a turtle from predators – our shield is our community. We hope that it will take on its own meaning for you!
Why can transitions be difficult?
RVDV’s First Member, Michael Mark Anthony
The first member of Returning Veterans of Diablo Valley was Michael Mark Anthony of Berkeley, California.
Michael was a U.S. Army combat medic who served in Vietnam with the 1st Infantry Division. He later served his community as an honorary Berkeley Police Officer, and “mayor” of his neighborhood street. He was a loving and inspiring man who understood the power of connection. He could often be found at his home during surprise visits wearing the RVDV t-shirt. He believed in our mission and is proof that no matter how long ago our experiences were, we are often always in search of belonging and a returning back home. Michael passed away on September 11th, 2018. He is survived by his husband Ron Wells.
On Memorial Day 2012, he shared this:
We who are alive, let’s pledge to daily remember and honor our fallen, as thoughts and/or prayers cross threshholds of time and place, life and death. Let’s dedicate our continuing search for peace of mind in our own skin to their memory.