of San Diego
In 1981, five Vietnam Veterans, Jack Lyon, Bill Mahedy, Randy Way, Paul Grasso, and Russ Kelly were sitting around in a group counseling session discussing the traumas of war and looking to enhance services from the VA. They were not happy with the services that were available to them at that time and talking seriously about mounting a combat assault on the VA. They knew they would probably get arrested, but they were desperate to shine a spotlight on the lack of medical and psychological care for Vietnam Veterans.
discusses VVSD history and Mission
As luck would have it, the facilitator of the counseling session was Father William Mahedy, who served as an Army chaplain in Vietnam. Mahedy made a suggestion to the group. “Why don’t you take this energy and do something that will really make a difference?”
The group took the suggestion to heart and formed Vietnam Veterans of San Diego to help their comrades who were sleeping on the streets, under bridges and in parks.
From this modest beginning, VVSD has evolved over the past three decades into a nationally-recognized, non-governmental organization known for delivering innovative services to veterans.
In 2005, we changed our name to Veterans Village of San Diego to better reflect what we’ve been doing all along: helping to restore the lives of all veterans in need.