Veterans Association of North County | About VANC
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Mission

VANC is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization created and operated by Veterans as a one-stop resource center for all active-duty military, Veterans and their families. We centralize services from diverse agencies to assist with jobs, education, finances, health and wellness.

Vision

We seek to honor and support those who have served our country, bridging the past, present and future. VANC is a vibrant gathering place in North San Diego County, where all Veterans, active-duty military and their loved ones can reach out for help and community. VANC engages and informs local Veterans organizations, service providers and individuals, helping them work together. VANC seeks to be a model for other organizations that serve the military community.

VANC Leadership

PRESIDENT | Chuck Atkinson

Chuck is a 27-year Veteran who serviced in the Air Force, Marine Corps and Coast Guard. Atkinson commanded American Legion Post 146 for seven years and has been named Veteran of the Year by the City of Oceanside. He has received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the San Diego Veterans Coalition among many honors. Chuck has dedicated himself to helping Veterans and active duty service people succeed.

VICE PRESIDENT | Mark Desens

Mark is a 30-year Marine Corps Veteran, retiring in 2014. A 1984 graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, Mark was trained as a CH-46 pilot and had a distinguished career, deploying several times to hotspots around the world. Mark currently teaches Marines at Camp Pendleton.

SECRETARY | Kris Thorsten

Kris Thorsten is a retired Mustang Marine Captain having served 25 years in the Corps.  He served 13 years reaching the rank of GySgt as an Enlisted man and 12 years as an Officer obtaining the rank of Capt.  He held 13 different ranks during his service in the Communications & Electronics Maintenance field. After retirement Kris has continued to serve his Country and our Veterans through active engagement as past Post Commander of the American Legion, past Chapter President of Vietnam Veterans of America, VA volunteer service and as the VANC Secretary

TREASURER | Brenda Bomar

Brenda has lived in North County since moving to San Diego in 1980 Brenda loves North County and has supported the VANC mission since the beginning.

TRUSTEE | John Stryker Meyer

John entered the Army on 1 December 1966. Meyer arrived at FOB 1 in Phu Bai in May 1968, where he joined Spike Team Idaho. John is a life member of the Special Operations Association, a member of the Special Forces Association Chapter 78, the Military Order of the Purple Heart, the VFW, American Legion, United Veterans Council, the San Diego Veterans Coalition, One VA, and is chairman of Interfaith Community Service’s Veterans Advisory Committee.

Facility

VANC was the inspiration of Veteran Chuck Atkinson. As past commander of American Legion Post #146, Mr. Atkinson wanted to find a place for meetings. However, he also felt North San Diego County lacked a cohesive system to provide important services for his fellow Veterans, and active-duty service men and women.Working with other Veteran organizations and the City of Oceanside, Chuck helped VANC lease the 13,500 square-foot facility at 1617 Mission Avenue, which formerly housed the Oceanside Police Department.VANC is a place where Veterans, active-duty and reserve military personnel and their families – from all branches – can meet, work together and build a better future. The center provides information about social services, hosts classes and delivers other support for those who serve our country.

Our building

Through your generous donations and contributions, the VANC Resource Center is a reality. We need your support to maintain and continue our mission and goals. Please open your hearts to those who have risked their lives for you. You can help by donating funds for building maintenance, project construction and engineering expertise, or volunteering your time to help develop this much needed facility for our local veterans. In addition, rooms in the VANC Resource Center may be sponsored in their entirety or by portion/square feet. A plaque will be displayed outside the sponsored room with the name of the organization and/or individual(s) sponsoring the room.

 

For more information, to make a donation, or to sponsor a room, please contact us at 760-722-1277. Thank you for honoring the veterans from our own community who have gone into harm’s way to protect our freedom.

History

The Veterans Association of North County Resource Center is the inspiration of veteran Chuck Atkinson. As a Past Commander of the American Legion Post #146, his dream, initially, was to locate a place where his post could meet on a regular basis. However, he had long felt that the North County area lacked a cohesive mechanism for providing important services to his fellow veterans and to the service men and women in the community, and so he began to collaborate with other veteran associations and the City of Oceanside to find a solution.

His efforts resulted in the signing of a lease between the City of Oceanside and the North County Veterans Association for the property at 1617 Mission Avenue in Oceanside The site currently features a 10,000 square foot structure that previously housed the Oceanside Police Department. Construction began in 2013 to transform the existing building into a facility that addressed the specific needs of our veterans, retired, active duty personnel, and their families.

Now we need your help to maintain the building and property, our many programs, and the future goals of VANC. There are many ways to provide your support. From sponsorship opportunities to donations of goods and services. We invite you to call us or visit our website at www.vancnorthcounty.org to learn more about VANC and our efforts to assist veterans throughout the area.