Here’s how you can help a local veteran in need this Veteran’s Day through the local organization MCVET. Let Executive Director Misty Bruce provide an overview of their annual virtual run and all of the services provides for overlooked veterans in need here in Maryland.
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Misty Bruce, Nestor Aparicio
Nestor Aparicio 00:01
Back at W n s t test Baltimore and Baltimore positive we are taking our show on the road it’s the Maryland crabcake Tour presented by our friends at the Maryland lottery still have a handful the Ravens so scratch offs giveaway. I’m going to be getting the Senate tickets. I’ve been told not to call them sniffers for the gingerbread as well as the peppermint. Next month we’ll have that we have a dozen crab cake tours out. We’re fakies This week I’m wearing my costume shirt and Dundalk will be there on Tuesday will be a Papist in Parkville the following Tuesday in time for Thanksgiving, and then we’re going to be a Coco’s we’re going to be gertrudes at the BMA we’re also going to be winding things up at State Fair and Acurio wellness. And it wise markets we’re getting everywhere out on the crabcake tour. It’s also presented by our friends at window nation. 866 90 nation you buy two you get two free five years 0% financing, and our friends at Jiffy Lube MultiCare where I had my oil change, my oil changes I said to John Waters on the program this week, then a miracle of our we love to charity stuff around here and holidays come up tonight. I got to apologize because I’m doing my show on Friday morning it fails and I invited a guest from one of the downtown executive orders. They’re like that’s a holiday. And I’m like, oh wow. Like Veterans Day because you got Veterans Day things happening here this weekend. I always see veterans ads and stuff in the Rob Gronkowski thing. And I think my grandfather served my father in law served Vietnam and certainly for veterans everywhere and you have them in your family. We often say and I’ve said this a million times and I’ve said this to everybody from Sarbanes to Cardin to Hogan, we don’t do enough for our veterans. And there’s a lot of organizations out there doing things for veterans. Misty Bruce is here. She’s executive director of all things. MC vet, it’s MC ve t you can find them out local organization, fundamental Facebook. They’re doing just sort of a powerful movement here this week to get people involved, raise some funds, raised some awareness and try to help some folks. Misty, how are you? I’m glad you’re you feel better back on the beat here just in time for Veterans Day.
Misty Bruce 01:59
Yeah, no, I’m doing well. Thanks for having me. I appreciate your mercy and grace. I know we rescheduled last week. So I appreciate that
Nestor Aparicio 02:06
infinite Flexibility is the key to immortality. And Deepak Chopra taught me that and you know, I ran into him on the street in New York one day, it was 100 degrees. And I swore if I ever ran into him, I would have said that to him. And I didn’t. And he walked away. And I’m like, if Flexibility is the key to immortality, it was like I yelled at him. So I’m trying to be flexible here. What should people know about your organization and veterans in general and people in need, I had an uncle who served in Korea, who certainly needed help at the end of his life, mental health challenges down the line, all the worst things you can imagine. And you know, a lot of times people my family didn’t know where to go. I know your organization prides itself on trying to be that kind of organization to say, hey, no questions asked, well, we can help you.
Misty Bruce 02:54
That’s right. I think that’s one of the beautiful things about MC vet. You know, I’ve been here a short time, and about eight or nine months now. And when I walked into the building the first time, I noticed that this organization has a really unique ability to take someone that’s maybe been said no to 510 15 times, right, where other organizations have closed the door on them. Big vet takes those people and they give them purpose. We offer you know, the workforce development programs, wraparound clinical services, to include mental health, substance use psychiatric care, all of those beautiful things. But we also provide a sense of community, we re instill pride in oneself, and accountability into those folks who maybe have gotten what it feels like to be a part of something.
Nestor Aparicio 03:44
Well, I mean, you know, I’ve seen the tragedy of the Triumph stories, but all of these people at one point, they push ups went through basic training, maybe went to war, or for the cusp of war to places seeing and doing things we don’t talk about around here spiritually. And you know, we talk about Afghanistan and Iraq and the extent of that, for all of that and I think you know, all of us know someone that is either survived or didn’t survive through all of this I’m I’m 55 now as I get older, you know, I think about people that have had these problems and so for your organization, get give me a day in the life and what the message should be to people out there if you have someone in your life who needs help, or if you just want to be benevolent, you have abundance in your life and you’re like, hey, it’s Veterans Day. I want to do something to get involved. You guys have given folks a chance to do that this week.
Misty Bruce 04:34
Yeah, we are so McNatt has been hosting a 5k 10k for 28 years. It’s been in existence 30 years it’s the 30th anniversary in 2023. And so in keeping with that tradition, we you know, doing it again this year, and we added a one mile or portion to it so that it do it as you can and how you can kind of piece so if you need to hike it, swim it, bike it you got to push a baby stroller All right, everyone’s on their own journey, wanted to acknowledge that everyone’s on their own journey. So there’s an extra component to it this year that you can opt into, if you’d like, all of the funds that are raised by this event, of course, sink right back into MC vet programming to keep the doors open to continue to provide a safe, warm place for those veterans who have no other resources to come to, but also to keep our workforce development programs going and our clinicians in house, you know, we have eight social workers in the building. And that’s pretty phenomenal for
Nestor Aparicio 05:31
what you’re building, what is your building? Yeah, cuz I, you know, we’re virtual here, and I could pull the website up, but you mentioned people there serving other folks, people reside in McPhatter? Yes,
Misty Bruce 05:43
they do. Yeah, we can house up to up to two of them 49 People in our building. And we have a combination of an emergency shelter transitional housing facility. And we have an SRO, you know, single room occupancy, meeting, instead of like dorm style, so that there’s different levels of entry, but also different levels of transition, so that it doesn’t have to be a one and done or fast pace, you know, people can transition as they need to, which I think is pretty incredible. And it’s an interesting building
Nestor Aparicio 06:15
can ask about that. What does the transition look like? What is your hope? From any I mean, obviously, the hope is for a successful transition, no matter how long it takes, like, how long would you give the baby to walk? Well, the rest of its life, you know, we’re gonna we’re, we’re, we’re in you know, but, but But trying to resurrect someone’s self esteem, obviously, they would have job skills, I mean, just in the very basic sense that they serve, if their mental capacity is still there, they can provide value as for a world that needs employment right now.
Misty Bruce 06:45
That’s right, I would say that that’s one of the things that is we start with is they meet with a intake specialist. And that person spends time with them, getting to know what their barriers to success are, you know, what makes them tick, what they enjoy what they need help with. Sometimes it’s interesting, people will say, Well, I don’t need help with anything. And then those things that they need help with slowly, as they become a little more secure and their surroundings are more, a little more trusting, began to present themselves. And so we take the time to assess each individual, and try to provide them with what they need to be what their definition of successful is, right? Because we have veterans in here in their 70s, the Vietnam veterans, and they’re in their 70s. So successful to them may look like our youngest veteran, who I believe is 28. That’s in here. So we do really,
Nestor Aparicio 07:41
that’s a wide swath of, of people, right. And you mentioned men, women, too. We
Misty Bruce 07:48
do have women in our program, we always seem to have fewer women than men from what I’m told historically. And that number fluctuates from two to 15. And so I think currently, we’re at seven.
Nestor Aparicio 08:01
I wonder what the numbers are over the last 50 years of service, male versus female, just, you know, across all service categories, just in general, how male dominated you would expect the service to have been in the 70s and 80s? And 90s? Yeah,
Misty Bruce 08:17
I can’t answer that. I can’t answer. That. MC vet has served over 13,000. Wow. Individuals. 13,000 people over the last 30 years veterans have come through the doors asking for help.
Nestor Aparicio 08:29
That’s right here,
Misty Bruce 08:30
right here. Baltimore, Baltimore City, it was the former Maryland cup company that you know, and they were bought out by solo. And it was a part of St. Josephs school. And I have to fact check this but someone told me a story that Babe Ruth came through here to get some, like a tech training, if you will. I guess he was a a naughty child.
Nestor Aparicio 08:52
He was a troubled child. Yeah. He’s a famously troubled child. Yes, yes.
Misty Bruce 08:56
And so his parents were like, What are we going to do with you, kid? So they’re open, the nuns could teach him a trade. But they didn’t. What they taught him was how to play baseball. So we always tell everyone, surely if Babe Ruth can come here, and pick up something to help him make an impression on the world. You can do that too.
Nestor Aparicio 09:15
All right, you can get out to make fat and help them because finally, Facebook’s probably the easiest way to find them. But MC vet 2023 Veterans Day tribute. I’m gonna pull it up on on our screenshare here for anybody that is watching. So you can kind of click and see see what things are going on here. 25 and $35 level for a 10k walk a 5k walk and run a one mile run as well. The it’s a virtual events, it’s wherever you are, you know, I would say from the virtual side of this thing. We all gathered it’s certainly good to get in shape and all that. But the pandemic changed a lot of things. And I think over the last three or four years I’ve talked about a lot of virtual virtual virtual weather. It’s been nice too. I would think at some point we’ll get this thing back in the park and get people together and serve some beverages, right. Yeah, That’s
Misty Bruce 10:00
what we’re thinking for next year, we’ll go back to our good ol in person run with the transition of bringing in a new executive director. Really, it was an extension of mercy from a board. They’re like, Okay, pull this off in person. And this amount of time. So are
Nestor Aparicio 10:16
you drinking from the firehose is the executive director MC vet, I’m sure. So early on what what have you learned about your, your journey there and your work on a personal level, you and I were at at a cocktail function. That’s what you know, what, what do you learn being in that environment that maybe you didn’t know, working? And you served a long, long time for the Red Cross as well? I mean, you’ve you’ve been involved in helping people all your professional life.
Misty Bruce 10:38
Yeah. So I’ll tell you. I’m
Nestor Aparicio 10:42
sorry, when your phone rings. We’re really doing it. Yeah, it’s great. Yeah. So I’ll help answer answer them, not me.
Misty Bruce 10:49
So I’ll tell you just a little lightning speed story. So I came to make that I felt compelled to drawn to it. I wasn’t necessarily looking for a career change. But something I felt drawn to do this and I came here and for the first 90 days, I worked 16 to 18 hour days, all day, every day, Saturday, Sundays every day
Nestor Aparicio 11:12
not to be emotional seeing people come in and that in that environment, it just as it is, especially for these people and you cheer for them. You
Misty Bruce 11:19
know, that’s right. But I’ll tell you, so I came here for the first 90 days doing it because I felt like they needed me. Then on Memorial Day weekend, we get a check presentation from Congressman and Fumi for $3 million. A community expansive
Nestor Aparicio 11:35
former neighbor, give it up for quality say I gotta get him on shore, which state fair soon he owes me one game.
Misty Bruce 11:41
So from ran from the War Memorial over here to to make bet it’s not just a hop, skip and a jump but to change out of my dress into my Orioles gear, right? Because going to the baseball game with our friends from true has taken our veterans and when I was pausing at my security desk to say okay, here’s the rundown. One of our Vietnam veterans who had approached me in a parking lot a few weeks earlier, he came to me and he said, Miss Bruce, I’m really appreciated for being here. I was wondering if you could do me a favor, the guys are all talking. And they said that if I need something, and you’re the person to ask, and I was like, Sure, what do you need? And he said, all you have is a size 14 shoe in the mix that mall. So we have a donation center, we call them at that mall. I need a 14 and a half. I was wondering if you could get me a pair of 14 and a half sneakers through one of your connections, maybe by winter, and I was like, Huh. And he said I’m really sorry, I asked I probably shouldn’t have poached approached you in the parking lot. There is a rule against that. And I was like there’s a rule against break my Ramsdell knew I didn’t know the rules. And so I said, No, I was just thinking, I don’t usually work that slow. Come see me next week. So then fast forward back to me at the security desk, he came up to me, and he said, Miss Bruce, I broke in my new shoes that you got me on, I was like, that’s great. He was that I went on a walk and I got you this. And I was like, I can’t accept gifts. He was like, it’s just a card. It’s paper, you could trade it afterwards. And so I opened it, and I read it. And here’s what I’ve learned from a Vietnam veteran. So Miss Bruce, you talk everyday to us about living life with a grateful heart. Something else that I’ve learned from you is you don’t always have to be able to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes to care about them. Sometimes you just have to be the person to buy them the shoes so they can walk their mile. And to me, that was just a really special moment, to just remember that we’re all put here for a reason. And it was at that moment that I realized that I had become the type of humanitarian who rubber stamp things. Right, who said no, not in my budget? Not my mission, or I can’t do that. That’s not my job description. That’s a dumb rule. It’s against the rule. Right? So I become that when
Nestor Aparicio 14:04
you talk to the ultimate rule breaker here. So yeah,
Misty Bruce 14:08
I know. So I had become that type of humanitarian. And this Vietnam veteran reminded me that I actually was put here to effectuate change at a grassroots level and I had forgotten that,
Nestor Aparicio 14:22
but what can people do other than give you 25 bucks, what are some other things they could do to be of assistance other than if I had and I don’t have a pair of 14 and a half shoes by the way? I don’t you know.
Misty Bruce 14:35
I went out but, hey, white Reeboks that was very inexpensive to get those right. We’re just now in a place where we can take volunteers so I would say you can email us at info at MC that.org. If you have items that you would like to donate, we’re in need of winter coats and winter clothing. We’re in need of volunteers. If you’d like to serve meals we serve three hats a day here at MCC that 365 days a year. And of course I won’t turn down any financial donations ever. And I would say, if you know a veteran in need, that’s the biggest way you can help MC fit. If you know a veteran in need. Reach out to us. We’d love to touch their lives.
Nestor Aparicio 15:23
Let’s get up some out. Misty Bruce is here. She’s executive director of all things MC VT veterans helping veterans. You gotta make vet.org To learn more, and certainly up on their Facebook page as well. Very good visit with you very inspirational story. It’s Veterans Day weekend, hug a veteran, buy him a beer or coffee or go take him the ROFO do with the ROFO did for me ROFO reminded me that my birthday was three and a half weeks ago and I have like four days to get my free chicken and Western fries and shout out to ROFO I love you guys too. So take care your veterans out there. Take care folks. You can learn more at the MC vt.org MC that local organization right here in Ballmer, right where John Waters is from who joined the show this week. I’ve done a lot of the Maryland stadium authority this week. We had a great conversation with Len Raskin this week. And I had a great chat with Mike Rosenfeld about adequate concert so we are really stretching out above and beyond looks work out in Owings Mills. If you’re on the wn St. tech service, brought to you by our friends at Koons Baltimore Ford you will get all the injury reports first for Cleveland for Cincinnati this week, as well as Luke on the fields in Owings Mills. I am Nestor. We are W NSTA and 1570, Towson Baltimore, and we never stop talking Baltimore positive