RALEIGH – Most of us know that a great many difference makers make that difference behind the scenes, while the ripples of their hard work and dedication to a good cause are felt across the communities they touch.
Such is the case for North Carolinian veteran John Turner. Turner, who served in the U.S. Coast Guard and U.S. Army, is founder and senior advisor to Veterans Life Center, a ‘first of its kind’ facility which provides transitional housing, medical care and job training to veterans who are having a hard time transitioning back to civilian life.
The first facility, a 100-bed Veterans Life Center, opened in Butner in 2017, and began assisting veterans struggling with homelessness, substance abuse, and employment struggles after returning from deployments.
The Congressional Medal of Honor Society recently announced Turner as a finalist for the award in recognition of his service to veterans. As announced by the Veterans Life Center of North Carolina:
“[…] The finalists were selected through two rounds of judging by an independent panel, with the final round judged exclusively by Medal of Honor recipients. The winners will be announced on Medal of Honor Day, March 25th.
The Congressional Medal of Honor Society was chartered by Congress in 1958 to create a brotherhood among the living Medal of Honor recipients; to protect and uphold the dignity and honor of the Medal; to promote patriotism and love of country; and to inspire our youth to become worthy and dedicated citizens of our nation. Its membership consists exclusively of those individuals who have received the Medal of Honor. Today, there are 69 living recipients of the Medal of Honor. The Society is unique in that its membership hopes that there will be no need to welcome new inductees.
Each year, The Citizen Honors Awards recognize Americans whose exceptional courage and selfless service embody the values of the Medal of Honor: courage, sacrifice, integrity, commitment, patriotism, and citizenship. More than 75 nominations from around the country were received for this year’s prestigious awards.
Awards are given in five categories, two for heroism and three for service. John is a finalist for the Service Act Award.
His inscription reads: “John Turner is the founder of the Veterans Life Center, which was founded in 2009 after the tragic loss of a fellow veteran to suicide. John understood the lack of stability that could develop in 21st century veterans after completing their time in service and wanted to provide our veterans a holistic approach to help them reintegrate into civilian life. With that goal in mind, John’s vision of the Veterans Life Center was born.
The 2021 Citizen Honors Service Awards Honorees will be celebrated on July 14, 2021 in Charleston, SC at a dinner being held at The Belmond Charleston Place Hotel in Charleston, SC. The heroism award winners will be honored in Boston, MA on September 10, 2021.
The Citizen Honors honorees receive this award from a group of Americans whose actions have defined the words courage and selfless service — the living members of the Congressional Medal of Honor Society. These brave Americans have received the Medal of Honor for their acts of valor performed during wartime and present the Citizen Honors awards to Americans who are showing courage and dedicating themselves to service here at home.
“I am honored and humbled to be one of the finalists for this prestigious award,” Turner said. “But in truth I must say that this honor belongs not to me as a single person, but to the many others who have worked and sacrificed to make the Veterans Life Center a reality.”
The Veterans Life Center is a residential facility to help homeless and at-risk 21st Century veterans to successfully reintegrate to the civilian world following their service. Its goal is to help each of the men and women heroes whom it serves to find a constructive and personally-satisfying role in civil society.”
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While Turner is recognized, he laudably turns the attention to all those involved in the effort, and the real target for appreciation: veterans. The organization continues to rely on private contributions from organizations, corporations, and individual donors. If you’d like to offer Turner and the team at VLC a well-deserved congratulations, support the Veterans Life Center here.