Sea of Goodwill

Watertown does an outstanding job supporting our troops when they are deployed and upon their return. However, with such a large “Sea of Goodwill”, it can become almost impossible for some to navigate… Almost impossible for the soldier or their family to find the help they need when they need it. This project, initiated by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in Washington DC, helps soldiers and their family find the help they need through a “one-stop” call center for our veterans – one place that will have a list of all the various official and unofficial support available to help our veterans. A place where they can call with confidence of results, yet know their privacy is honored. We have the resources, we just need to get them to those that need them more effectively. This project will be the catalyst for matching the donor/assistance to the need.
      Nationally, we are losing veterans and military members to suicide at an alarming rate. Since the start of the Iraq war, on average we lose a veteran to suicide every 80 minutes. That means we have lost more soldiers to suicide than we have lost on the battlefield in Iraq and Afghanistan combined. In SD, 25% of the homeless are veterans. These are the kind of statistics that need to be heard. We need to address the root causes of these issues – we need to help these families out early to really address these issues. And this is not just about help for veterans, it is about help for spouses, for children, for employers, help for the community.
       The Watertown Police Department is the ideal entity to house this project on multiple levels, but most prominent is the situational training police officers have combined with 24/7 availability. Partnership with the Police Department is critical to the success of this project as it will serve as a one-stop shop to match donors to the needs of our veterans, their families, or employers.“
Michael Cartney, Colonel, USAF (retired)

       The Watertown Police Department stands ready to serve those who have served us. We have a Military Team in place to address the needs of returning veterans in our community. Sergeant Matt Hegg and  Officer Chad Stricherz serve as Co-Team Leaders for the WPD Military Team. For more information about the Sea of Goodwill or the WPD's Military Team, please call (605)882-5620.