Veteran’s Employment Base Camp and Organic Garden (VEBCOG) is a non-profit 501C3 organization designed to reintroduce unemployed, underemployed, and disabled veterans back into the workforce as productive, employable individuals by providing temporary employment during the post-war transitional phase. Organic gardening is incorporated in the program as a peaceful means of rehabilitation for the veterans, who have previously faced particularly trying and violent situations while in the service. An employable veteran will not be achieved based solely on their daily work done in the garden. With the combination of health and wellness, life skills, and workforce training assessments throughout the program, the desired outcome is the employable individual. In this social enterprise, the organic vegetables and produce are equally as important as the well-being and success of the veterans.
The primary client VEBCOG serves is military veterans (specifically homeless and disabled), family members and caregivers, active-duty military transitioning into agriculture, and the low-income youth of Craven, Carteret, Pamlico, Onslow, and Jones Counties within the eastern North Carolina area. By partnering with the local military bases in the area and other veteran service providers, potential participants are identified and assessed to determine eligibility in the variety of programs. In 2020 the garden was relocated to a new site, which is smaller but still maintains handicap accessibility with the use of ADA compliant walkways, raised garden beds, wheelchair access, and ergonomic garden tools.