Leave No Veteran Behind (LNVB) is a national 501(c)3 non-profit organization that invests in Veterans to build better communities through employment training, transitional jobs, and our veteran educational debt relief scholarship. Leave No Veteran Behind invests in heroes who have served their country honorably and who seek to continue their service as assets in communities across America.
The military has many codes of conduct that enable diverse individuals from all parts of the nation to represent the US with honor and win our nation’s wars. One code that is paramount is that we never leave a soldier, seaman, airman, or marine behind. This principle should transcend the military and should be a part of our national fabric as Americans. We should not allow individuals to slip through the cracks, especially if they are bettering themselves as citizens and soldiers by attaining higher education so that they may bring their expertise to the military and civilian workplace. It is well understood that veterans of wars are highly vulnerable to a number of social and mental ills that affect them at higher rates than average Americans. It is also well known that veterans make up a disproportionate amount of our homeless population. This is a travesty — but a solid education and employment can serve as an essential lifeline for returning veterans making the transition back to civilian life.
Two Army Veterans, Roy B. Sartin and Eli Williamson founded leave No Veteran Behind. Both founding directors hail from Chicago, IL and attended Luther College in Decorah, IA. During college, they both joined the US Army Reserves and were assigned to the 389th Engineering Battalion. During their senior year of college, their reserve unit was activated to deploy to Iraq in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom. Eli completed his degree by joining the active duty Army and attending the Special Warfare Training Center at Ft. Bragg, North Carolina. He was assigned to the 4th Psychological Operations Group (Airborne) and deployed to Iraq. He deployed subsequently to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. In contrast, Roy was forced to put a halt to his education and deploy with his reserve unit. Upon return, he completed his degree in Business Administration and became a district manager for Aldi Corporation in the Baltimore area. Both Eli and Roy struggled to pay educational loans from college, since they were not covered under any military programs for educational debt repayment. After countless conversations with other frustrated veterans, they found that they were not alone. They witnessed many returning veterans struggling to find employment as well. After much thought and planning, they decided to form Leave No Veteran Behind.
Paying homage to our roots, the Leave No Veteran Behind logo is modeled after the military badge. A military badge is defined as a military decorations that are displayed on uniforms to denote a variety of qualifications and accomplishments to service members. Using this as a paradigm, our logo(badge) denotes the accomplishments of those our program has helped. The silver badge surrounded by two olive branches which symbolize peace after completing the mission. Centered in the middle of the olive branches is a book symbolizing knowledge gained through a veteran’s education and experiences. Behind the book is a sword that splits into plowshares. This symbolizes that a veterans military training can be repurposed through education into peaceful application that will benefit society.