ABOUT

NATION'S

FINEST

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OUR MISSION

At Nation’s Finest, our mission is to support America’s military veterans and their families with a comprehensive approach to housing, health and employment that helps them achieve self-sufficiency and reach their full potential.

ACTIVE

Saying ‘thank you for your service’ is a genuine way to show respect and appreciation to a veteran. At the same time, actions speak louder than words. We’re serious about ending veteran homelessness and suicide, which is why we spend every day delivering the supportive services our veterans need to help them improve their lives in a measurable way.

HUMAN

We take a ‘Whole Person Care (WPC)’ approach that considers a veteran’s full spectrum of needs, whether they be medical, behavioral or socioeconomic. If our veterans need something we can’t provide, we find someone else who can, then connect them to those resources and follow up to ensure they’re getting the support they need.

OUR

VALUES

COMMUNITY-
FOCUSED

In our early days, we were recognized by the White House as a national model for providing community-based services to veterans and their families. All of our locations offer peer-based support systems where veterans can feel safe and secure, and we work hard to help them reintegrate with their surrounding communities.

INCLUSIVE

We welcome all veterans - regardless of gender, race, rank, discharge status, branch or era of service, or whether they served in combat - and we treat everyone with the compassion and respect they deserve. Most of our staff members are veterans themselves, or come from a military family.

NONPARTISAN

No political party or partisan organization has a monopoly on doing what’s right for our veterans. Serving those who served is everyone’s responsibility.

OUR HISTORY

1972

A group of returning Vietnam veterans can't find the support they need, so they create a nonprofit organization in Santa Rosa, CA, on a $9,000 budget. They name it Flower of the Dragon.

1975

As Saigon falls in April, our staff and volunteers perform critical roles in a dramatic airlift that extracts more than 2,000 Vietnamese children from their war-torn country to be adopted by American families.

1979

We co-sponsor and organize the first National Symposium on the Issues of Vietnam Veterans. Held on the campus of Sonoma State University, with financial support provided by the National Endowment for the Humanities and Van Loben Sels Charitable Foundation of San Francisco, the symposium addresses the impact of war on veterans and their families.

1989

 We help convince the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs to acknowledge the health impacts of Agent Orange exposure on veterans and their families.

1990

 We become a founding member of the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans (NCHV), which is established to advocate on a federal level for homeless veterans and their families.

1997

 We open a health clinic in Luong Son to serve the impoverished people of Vietnam.

1998

 We become a founding member of the California Association of Veteran Service Agencies (CAVSA), which is established to advocate for issues impacting California veterans and their families.

2002

 We build the first of three schools in Vietnam and continue to provide medical services and nutritional training to villagers in remote areas of Hoa Binh Province.

2014

 Our Board of Directors formally establishes a subsidiary, Veterans Housing Development Corporation, to focus its resources and expertise on responding to the critical need for affordable housing for veterans and their families.

2014

 We lead the efforts for California Proposition 41, which establishes a $600 million fund for affordable housing for low-income, disabled, and homeless veterans and their families.

2018

 We help lead the legislative and electoral campaigns for California Propositions 1 & 2, which establish $6 billion for affordable housing and home ownership for low-income individuals, including veterans.

2019

 One of our co-founders, Peter Cameron, retires as President and CEO after 47 years of outstanding service. He is replaced by Chris Johnson, who joins the agency following successful leadership roles at the American Red Cross, Woodcraft Rangers, and Mending Kids International.

2020

Recognizing the need to stand out among the estimated 40,000 veteran organizations nationwide, we change our name to Nation's Finest.