Community Involvement, Rehabilitation

Monterey veterans get help from Salinas Valley prison inmates

large group of people hold an over-sized check.
The Veterans Transition Center accepted a donation from incarcerated veterans at Salinas Valley State Prison.

By Lieutenant Eddie Brown

On July 16, Salinas Valley State Prison’ s incarcerated veterans helped other vets on the outside.

The prison’s Facility A Veterans Transition Group presented a check to the Monterey County Veterans Transition Center, or VTC. The inmate group, made up of former military personnel, held a food drive for the facility, raising $420.15.

The presentation began by honoring military prisoners of war and those missing in action, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance. The ceremony continued with speeches and support from prison Warden Tammy Foss, Veterans Army Airborne Ranger Tony Virrueta, Lieutenant Colonel Jack Murphy and Monterey County District 3 Chief of Staff Priscilla Barba.

Attendees included Veteran Chief Deputy Warden Matt Atchley, Veteran Facility Captain JJ Hughes and former incarcerated veterans Charles Pokovich and Dan Scott. Both former inmates graduated from the program and now volunteer for VTC.

Lt. Col Murphy said, “The monies raised will go a long way to help those who served our nation.”

VTC was founded 1998 in the city of Marina. The center provides services for homeless veterans and their families. Rather than only offering short-term help, the center provides veterans with transitional housing and case management programs so they can once again become employable, productive members of the community.