Romann won won the 2019 John Kominicki Memorial Rising Star Scholarship.

Like many military veterans, Romann, who traveled the world while serving in the U.S. Navy, found transitioning to civilian life to be easier said than done after doing three tours over a decade.

Helping him reacclimate to life as a married father of two young daughters was United Way of Long Island’s VetsBuild, a program that provides career training for veterans in the green construction industry. After graduating, he’s now flourishing as a program analyst with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs overseeing contracts and budgeting for the Long Island National Cemetery.

“Because of this incredible training program, I gained the necessary technical and leadership skills needed to advance my career,” said Romann, who did not want his last name used. He added that it “helped change my life for the better.” 

VetsBuild is one of a suite of initiatives within Mission United, a signature program of the nonprofit United Way of Long Island, part of the worldwide network of the 132-year-old global nonprofit. And with more than 101,000 veterans on LI — home to the nation’s second largest veteran population — there is no shortage of need.

Besides job training under VetsBuild, Mission United, through its partner agencies, provides key referrals to secure careers, vital case management services, and emergency military family assistance. Veterans also have access to resources 24/7 by calling 211.

Romann’s success story is emblematic of what Mission United aims to achieve with its assistance. In recognition of his integrity, perseverance, and commitment to advancing his education and leadership skills, Romann won the 2019 John Kominicki Memorial Rising Star Scholarship. The scholarship recognizes an individual who, like Kominicki — a veteran and the Press’ late publisher emeritus — displays excellence in leadership and a zest for learning. 

To help support the cause, United Way of Long Island invites the public to participate in its 2019 Mission United Veterans Day T-Shirt campaign. Those who make a small contribution will receive a Mission United T-Shirt to wear on Veterans Day this Nov. 11.

United Way of Long Island President and CEO Theresa A. Regnante said, “Together we can help more military families transitioning to civilian life.”

For more information, visit unitedwayli.org/missionunited

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