Paralyzed Veterans of America issued the following:
Ten years as a Navy helicopter pilot made Brian Culver want to use his
Edmond, OK-based dry cleaning business to give something back.
When local meteorologist Jed Castle asked Brian if he knew of any
veteran service organizations that could make use of some suits he had
that no longer fit, Brian came up with a great idea – he would clean
donated suits for free and pass them on to the Mid-America chapter of Paralyzed Veterans of America.
“I think for anyone who has been in the military, once you’re in, you
really never leave; you still have a special commitment to others you
served with and would do anything for them,” Culver said. “I know
firsthand what it’s like to get back into the civilian world and get
your feet under you again. It’s tough.”
With the Mid-America chapter of Paralyzed Veterans being active
throughout the community in and around Oklahoma City, news about the
donations spread quickly through word-of-mouth and social media,
resulting in even more suits donated by Culver’s customers.
Scott Ellis, government relations director for the Mid-America
chapter, said his goal for the donated suits is to make them available
to veterans across the country involved in Operation PAVE (Paving Access for Veterans Employment), Paralyzed Veterans of America’s premier vocational rehabilitation program.
“We’re obviously very honored they would consider choosing us out of
all the veterans organizations out there,” Ellis said. “Anytime we as a
chapter have the opportunity to help a veteran, not just a chapter
veteran but any veteran, we’re on board with that. We’re very pleased to
have the opportunity to find good homes for these suits and find people
who will put them to good use.”
After more than 10 years as a Navy helicopter pilot, Culver began
looking for an opportunity to start his own business. After some
research, he discovered the dry cleaning industry is very stable, and
his franchise – Lapels Dry Cleaning – was ranked very high.
“I was grateful for the time that I had in the Navy, but it was very
clear that it was time to move on,” Culver said. “I always wanted to own
my own business.”
Culver said his ultimate hope is that the donations will boost
interest from employers across the country on the need to hire
“What veterans have done in the military really blows away any
experience in the civilian world,” Culver said. “Employers should be
giving them a second look.”
For more information about donating, call 405-418-4030, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Learn more about Operation PAVE, Paralyzed Veterans of America’s premier vocational rehabilitation program
Brittany Ballenstedt is a freelance journalist whose work has
appeared in several publications, including Government Executive,
National Journal, Technology Daily and NextGov.com.