Veteran Service Corps is a nonprofit organization born from the Veterans Stand movement that assembled on the Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota in December, 2016. At that time it had been 90 years since the veteran community from across the country had been mobilized to protect the constitutional and human rights of a group of American citizens.
In reflecting on that mission, VSC’s founders recognized the tremendous value in the commitment to service that runs deep in the hearts and minds of our veteran community, as they witnessed the immeasurable impact veterans had serving alongside members of a community plagued by social and economic injustice.
Over the past 10 months VSC has earned the trust of tribal leaders of the Cheyenne River Lakota Nation, launched Operation Eagle in Eagle Butte, South Dakota, and raised over $1 million in donations of human capital and materials to conduct a number of community improvement and capacity-building projects on the reservation.
In October, 2017 VSC was offered the opportunity to steward and restore a 29-acre property in Promise, South Dakota.
In partnership with the Cheyenne River Lakota Nation and the tribal veterans, VSC intends to use this asset for economic development programs that improve environmental, educational, social and health outcomes for communities in which veterans live – starting with the Cheyenne River Reservation, where 47% of the total population are veterans of the United States Armed Forces.
The leader of VSC is former US Army Infantry Captain Chris Duesing. Chris entered service as an ROTC graduate from Virginia Tech. After two deployments to the Balkans and serving at the platoon, company and battalion level in response to the 1990’s widespread genocide in the region, he transitioned to the National Guard and established airport security missions across the country as part of Operation Noble Eagle in response to 9/11.
Chris deployed his rifle company to Guantanamo Bay in November 2002 in support of the Global War on Terror and subsequently retired.
In November 2016, Chris was one of the first three veterans recruited to co-lead operations as thousands of veterans came to Standing Rock to protect First Nations’ right to peacefully assemble in opposition to the Dakota Access Pipeline. Chris’s team also drove the post-Standing Rock mission operations to connect other groups and organizations to Standing Rock.
In February 2017, Chris and a core group of veterans established Veteran Service Corps to engage veterans in meaningful service within their communities. Chris brings a unique perspective on the issues many veterans face during and post transition and through this has influenced the vision of Veterans Service Corps as an organization.
Please consider supporting our continuing efforts to empower Veterans across all political spectrums by making a donation or joining our community yourself as a volunteer!