Love San Diego? Thank a veteran.

Nov 10, 2022 - Heather Dewis

Home to more than 245,000 veterans, military communities have long played a major role in San Diego’s growth. Here’s how eight San Diego veteran-run companies and organizations are making our region a better place to live in 2022.

San Diego veterans, global impact

Veteran-owned defense tech company Fuse Integration deeply understands current fighter needs. As an Inc. 5000 company with 40 percent veterans, Fuse is adept at developing human-centered designs for front-line needs. Hear more about Fuse’s efforts to deliver user-focused tech to the warfighter during its #TakeoverTuesday.

At the end of service, according to the National Veterans Transition Service Inc., 81 percent of transitioning personnel feel unprepared to enter the job market. Enter veteran-founded Workshops for Warriors—a nonprofit school that trains, certifies, and helps place veterans and transitioning service members into advanced manufacturing careers. Learn about how it serves the veteran and manufacturing communities during its #TakeoverTuesday.

These local companies often make major global impact, like minority-owned, service-disabled veteran-owned small business Trabus Technologies, which provides professional support services to the U.S. government and develops technical solutions across five major portfolios: wireless technologies, AI and data science, maritime transportation, environmental informatics, and cybersecurity. In 2022, Trabus joined World Trade Center San Diego on its trade mission to the Netherlands, where it pitched its solutions to the Port of Rotterdam.

Building healthy communities

Mental health is critical to veteran communities. Courage to Call is dedicated to improving mental wellness for veterans, military service members, and military families. Staffed by veterans and spouses of active duty military, Courage to Call offers peer support in finding resources, transitioning to civilian life, and accessing benefits.

Founded in 1981 by five Vietnam veterans, the nationally-recognized Veterans Village of San Diego serves more than 3,000 veterans across San Diego County. In addition to mental health, housing, employment, court, and rehabilitation services, the organization launched the first annual Stand Down event in 1988. It’s now a national multi-day event connecting homeless veterans and their families with health and wellness resources.

San Diego living

Veterans aren’t just improving the lives of military communities—they’re reaching San Diegans everywhere. Veteran-owned Protector Brewery, San Diego’s first organic beer company, just celebrated its second anniversary. With its inviting taproom, perfect for events, Protector uses the beverage San Diego loves best to cultivate a community of beer fanatics.

And veteran-owned, family-operated Stache Coffee Company specializes in highlighting their sustainably-grown coffee’s flavors and quality. Stache supplies local and national restaurants and coffee shops, sells its coffee at San Diego community events, and takes time to support local veterans’ fundraisers.

Finally, Black-, women-, and veteran-owned marketing agency, Puzzle Pieces Marketing helps businesses and nonprofits tell their stories to inspire action. In addition to its excellent strategic marketing work, its founders dedicate plenty of time to give back to the San Diego community—volunteering with the North County Philanthropy Council, United Way of San Diego, Boys and Girls Clubs of San Diego and San Marcos, and more.

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