Author: mtcarmelstaff

Eyeglasses for Larry

Retired Army Maj. Larry Mooring admires his new eyeglasses from Veterans Optometry Partners of America.
Retired Army Maj. Larry Mooring admires his new eyeglasses from Veterans Optometry Partners of America.














Larry Mooring was pretty excited about his new eyeglasses when he picked them up at Mt. Carmel this past week. He showed them off to most of our staff members and fellow veterans.

“I was treated like a general back there; it’s embarrassing – I don’t think I deserve it,” said Larry of his experience with Veterans Optometry Partners of America, Mt. Carmel’s in-house partner that provided a complete eye exam, digital lenses and name brand frames without out-of-pocket expense – fully-covered by his annual VA optical benefit.

“They really appreciated me for my service and let me know it,” said Larry. “I’m going to tell other Veterans they should do this – they should call Mt. Carmel and use this great service. They even checked for cataracts!”

As he shared features of his new eyeglasses and details of outstanding customer service from Keegan Meyer’s VOPA team, we learned quite a bit about Larry.

After his commission in West Point’s Class of 1962, the retired Army major served two tours of duty in Vietnam, 29 months total, as an artillery and infantry officer. After the war, he served in Panama and Germany with three assignments to California sprinkled throughout.

Jeremy Parnell of Veterans Optometry Partners of America helps Retired Army Maj. Larry Mooring with his new eyeglasses at Mt. Carmel.
Jeremy Parnell of Veterans Optometry Partners of America helps Retired Army Maj. Larry Mooring with his new eyeglasses at Mt. Carmel.

In Germany, he met and married the love of his life; he and Hannelore mark 46 years of marriage on Dec. 7. Peering through his new glasses, “Isn’t she a looker?”, he asks, holding up a smart phone picture of the two of them on a recent trip to Las Vegas.

Retiring from Army service in 1982, Larry went on to support Colorado Springs students and staff for 20 years leading the supply and logistics team at the Deaf and Blind School as a State employee. He retired from the Colorado Department of Education in 2000.

We wanted to learn more, but Larry wanted to share more about his new eyeglasses.

“…and they have all name-brand frames and great customer service,” Larry continued. “Today, I came in and picked up my glasses, and it didn’t cost me anything. These are super-lightweight, scratch resistant frames — fully-covered by my VA benefit; has to be worth more than $500 with the exam!”

Retired Army Maj. Larry Mooring models his new eyeglasses from Veteran Optometry Partners of America at Mt. Carmel.
Retired Army Maj. Larry Mooring models his new eyeglasses from Veteran Optometry Partners of America at Mt. Carmel.

Are you interested in a thorough eye exam, name brand frames and digital lenses? VOPA at Mt. Carmel welcomes military, veterans and families – and all other community members – to access their insured benefits.

“We welcome all forms of Tricare, Medicaid, Medicare, and most other insurance plans,” said Keegan. “For the uninsured we offer affordable packages as well. We consider it a great privilege to serve the military and Veteran community.”

Learn more:

A hand-up for Danielle

Portrait of Danielle McCarthy 2019 in forest
Danielle McCarthy, August 2019


  In 2017, Danielle McCarthy’s son returned home from college to Montrose, Colo., to care for her as she recovered from complications related to a medical procedure. At the time, Danielle was responsible for the care of her husband, Air Force Reserve & Army Veteran David McCarthy, Jr.

Air Force Reserve & Army Veteran David McCarthy, Jr., carries his bride Danielle, across the threshold in 1992.
Air Force Reserve & Army Veteran David McCarthy, Jr., carries his bride Danielle, across the threshold in 1992.

  Tragically, David passed in 2017 from the effects of Gulf-War Syndrome. In the wake of so much personal tragedy, Danielle was forced to sell most family belongings, cash out her last $2,000 of pension, and relocate to Colorado Springs for continued medical care and to rebuild her life.

  In a short time, she launched a new business and now serves on several community boards. However, this past July, despite her best efforts, she was unable to pay her rent and walked through the doors of Mt. Carmel for help. 

   “There are a lot of great organizations that help veterans. But it was nice to walk into Mt. Carmel and just say, ‘I just need this boost up. That’s all I need,’ and I wasn’t made to feel I’d done anything wrong,” said Danielle. “Please understand – it does mean a lot. It is the small, little things that matter. Being back amongst veterans is amazing to me. What you do does make a difference; you made the difference that prevented me and my two sons from being homeless. Thank-you.”

   Following a year of extraordinary medical challenges, Danielle is no longer on portable oxygen. In August she successfully ascended the incline in Colorado Springs, gaining 2,000 feet in elevation in less than a mile at grades from 45 to 65 degrees, to a height of 8,590 feet. Mt. Carmel is grateful for the opportunity to lend a hand-up to Danielle and her children. 

Vote for Mt. Carmel at Goat Patch Brewing Company celebration July 27

Photo of Bob McLaughlin and Justin Grant holding a beer and a voting token







Former Army Ranger Justin Grant, owner of Goat Patch Brewing Company, and Retired Army Col. Bob McLaughlin, Mt. Carmel Chief Operating Officer, hold up voting tokens at Goat Patch Brewing Company.

Social Impact Helps Veterans:

Join us for a Beer at Goat Patch this Saturday

Mt. Carmel proudly salutes Goat Patch Brewing Company’s, “It Takes a Tribe Initiative,” a year-long effort celebrating two local non-profits. When Goat Patch visitors order award-winning, It Takes a Tribe Red Ale, they receive a token to cast a vote representing a 25-cent donation to one of two organizations.

At the Goat Patch Anniversary Party, July 27, 11 am-9 pm, a check will be presented at 3:30 pm to Mt. Carmel (and the other non-profit) representing the year-long initiative. “The minute we opened our doors we started giving back to our community and this is a big part of it,” said Justin Grant, former Army Ranger & Owner. “This is why July is such an important time – you can bring your friends and vote over and over in support of great organizations, up to and including our Anniversary Party.” Goat Patch is located at the former Lincoln Elementary School, 2727 N. Cascade. Learn more:

Watch the video:

GoatPatchLogo Save the date for Goat Patch Celebration July 27, 11 am - 9 pm Picture of Goat Patch Pint of Beer and a stack of voting tokens

Veterans among latest Electrician Apprenticeship Grads

CoS JATC Class of 2019 Honored in Ceremony July 19
Graduates of the Electrical Joint Apprenticeship Training Committee Class of 2019 were honored July 19. With Veterans among them, and Veteran-owned businesses to benefit, the electrical trade is open and welcoming to veterans.

With veterans among them, and some veteran-owned companies to benefit from their new skills, Mt. Carmel joined celebrations for the newest Electrical Joint Apprenticeship Training graduates recognized in ceremonies July 19. The event was hosted by IBEW Local Union 113 and NECA Southern Colorado Chapter. The 67th Annual Apprentice Completion Ceremony also celebrated 330 years of service represented in presentation of service pins to first-year apprentices through 65-year members. “I still love what I do and have a passion for it; when you have a passion, it’s not a job,” said Dan Rockhill II, owner of Rockhill Electrical Systems. Every Rockhill job still has his Dan’s hand on it. He was presented his own pin representing 50 years of membership and watched his son James receive his 20 year pin at the ceremony. Dan served on the apprenticeship committee over 25 years interviewing apprentice candidates referred from organizations including Mt. Carmel and our partners at the Pikes Peak Workforce Center. “We have 20 minutes to interview and determine if a candidate has potential to succeed in this apprenticeship.” Electrical workers remain one of the most highly-skilled and in-demand trades with wages ranging from $27-100K-plus from a first year apprentice to a supervisor electrician.  Mt. Carmel and our partners can help Veterans enter this growing career opportunity. 

Dan Rockhill II with his son, James
Dan Rockhill II with his son, James. Regional business owners, the two longtime electricians routinely hire and mentor new electricians from the veteran community.






Celebration and Reflection on Family, Service and Sacrifice

by Retired Army Col. Bob McLaughlin, Mt. Carmel Veterans Service Center, Chief Operating Officer

The many special dates on the calendar in May brought great celebration and reflection this month. Allow me to highlight just a few.

On May 10, we marked Military Spouse Appreciation Day. The spouses of our military heroes face many unique challenges as they support their service member serving our nation, not the least of which is the hardship of managing and maintaining a career of their own as they transition from one duty station to another.

As the nation enjoys historically low unemployment of less than five percent, our military spouses do not. They face nationwide unemployment of 16 to 24 percent, depending on which survey you read, and underemployment averaging 56 percent. These stats are unacceptable and negatively impact quality of life for military and veteran families. The Mt. Carmel team is doing its part to combat this inequality.

   In partnership with regional ABC affiliate KRDO and the MilHousing Network, we hosted the National MilSpouse Career Summit with live-webcast from Mt. Carmel. The effort was carried via webcast to ABC affiliate pages in 13 cities with large military and veteran communities. The effort featured employers and resources responding to audience questions submitted over social media. Bringing awareness and viable employment options to a wide audience is one positive step we have taken. Video of the informative and inspiring event is posted to our website at

As we near Memorial Day, we will pause and take a knee to honor our brothers and sisters who made the ultimate sacrifice so we could live free and bountiful lives. With several inspiring community services on that day, please find an appropriate moment to honor all who died in service to our nation.

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Your donation can make a difference in a Veteran’s life today!

Your generosity enables us to provide vital services to veterans and their families through our programs, resources and education. At Mt. Carmel Veterans Service Center, we make it easy for military and their families to receive the support and services they need by bringing a broad range of agencies and programming together under one roof.




Veteran Jobs & Veteran Spouse Jobs

Jobs for veterans and jobs for veteran spouses are among the many benefits of partnering with Mt. Carmel Veterans Services.

“At Mt. Carmel Veterans Service Center it is our pleasure to serve those who have protected us.”

It is our goal to find you and your families the career that creates purpose and meaning in your life. To do this, we provide many services that pair veterans and their spouses with the right job in Colorado Springs. Our services provide local businesses the opportunity to employ Americas finest, our Veterans.


Jobs for Veterans

At Mt. Carmel, we have career specialists available to assist veterans and veteran spouses in job search and training. We offer one-on-one assistance with someone that’s been in a situation similar to yours. With this support, you and your significant other receive the backing of our entire team. We can work with you to develop your resume, network with others, gain valuable job leads, interviewing techniques, and engage in mock interview events. We also host job fairs for veterans and their spouses throughout the year, plus put on some workshops and networking events to help you feel more comfortable.

Jobs for Veteran Spouses: The MilSpouse Career Program

Veteran jobs aren’t all we specialize in; we strive to find quality jobs for veteran spouses who serve on the home front as well. Veteran families also sacrifice for our country; therefore, they too, deserve only the best.  Our MilSpouse Career Program offers assistance with direct support. We provide the same services provided to our veterans which include career readiness workshops, networking opportunities, resource referrals, and volunteer positions.

Job Fair for Veterans & Veteran Spouses

At Mt. Carmel, we host regular job fairs to give local employers the opportunity to showcase a variety of new jobs available for veterans and jobs for veteran spouses. Likewise, veterans and spouses can connect to employers that want the skill, dedication, and loyalty offered by a veteran employee. Each job fair for veterans and their families includes 10 to 30 employers. We also provide industry-specific markets to help pair you with the position that you desire. The participants of these job fairs have already been vetted and ensure you’ll receive a quality position with livable wages. After all, you deserve only the best, and we want to guarantee you find the job that fulfills you.

Recruiting Veterans

Employers want to provide jobs for veterans because they know they will receive a worker that is dedicated and committed. At Mt. Carmel, we work with many local companies to place our clients in positions every day. We also offer mentorship opportunities that teach valuable skills to our veterans in their desired career field. Employers can also join the internship program to provide jobs to veterans and their spouses.  Mentorship enables workers to gain additional skills and challenges beyond their comfort zone. One of the benefits of becoming an intern is that you don’t leave gaps in your employment history and have a better chance of finding future work. Plus, at the end of the internship, many companies will offer paid positions to veterans that have proved they are committed to the company.

Customized Veteran Job Services Include:

In addition to the jobs for veterans and jobs for veteran spouses, we offer our clients a wide range of other pre-employment services. Veteran job placement is just the beginning of what we can to provide you with. Here’s a full list of the veteran job services we have available.

  • Mock interviews
  • Internships: training for a specified industry
  • Professional resume building
  • Customized job coaching services
  • One-on-one training – both on and off the job site
  • Discovering your career personality
  • Industry spotlight days
  • Work experience opportunities
  • Marketable skill building
  • Techniques to enhance your resume
  • Career workshops
  • Job search
  • Veteran job fairs
  • Networking opportunities
  • Employer recruiting events
  • Resource referrals
  • E-subscription to Transitions (quarterly publication offers by Mt Carmel for all job-seeking It provides search tips, job seeker success stories, employment-related events and highlights some community partners)