At this year’s Building Industry Association annual celebration in San Diego, National CORE was proud to be the presenting sponsor and join others in highlighting the need for affordable housing for veterans. AJ Galka, Director of Resident Services and Permanent Supportive Housing for National CORE, had the privilege of introducing keynote speaker, retired U.S. Marine Corps Sgt. Dakota Meyer, one of the youngest recipients of the Medal of Honor, our nation’s highest commendation for valor in action. Meyer is a New York Times best-selling author of Into the Fire: A Firsthand Account of the Most Extraordinary Battle in the Afghan War. Meyer earned his medal for his action during the Battle of Ganjgal, which was part of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan. He is the first living Marine to receive the medal since 1973.

With his return to civilian life, Meyer has become an advocate for American veterans. He partnered with the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation to raise $1 million and issued the “Dakota Meyer Scholarship Challenge to America” to match his efforts. He worked with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce to launch the Hiring Our Heroes Program to help military veterans and transitioning service members better market themselves to employers. He also is the creator of the podcast Front Toward Enemy with Dakota Meyer.