Jason Sidock said the military lifestyle was all he had ever known growing up and that lifestyle continued well into his adult life.
Sidock, 48, was recently selected as executive director of the Carroll County Veterans Independence Project. He was selected for this new position by the board after the recommendation of an independent interview panel made up of members of the community, state, and county agencies, according to a Carroll County Veterans Independence Project news release.
The CCVIP is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that was established to promote and serve the interest and welfare of the approximately 11,800 veterans in Carroll County, according to the press release.
The organization’s top priority is opening its Veterans Services Center (VSC) and getting fully staffed to provide veterans with a one-stop shop to connect them with services they and their families need.
“My goal is to be able to reach out and have contact with every homeless veteran,” Sidock said. “We’re looking to transition to where we will have facilities, besides our Veterans Service Center, but we will have facilities to house homeless veterans and their families whether it’s transitioning or going through the program to get them out.”
Sidock served in the U.S. Army as a member of the Military Police for seven years and in the reserves. He deployed to the Balkan Region in June 1996 to oversee elections in the region and got out of the military in August 2003 as a service-connected disabled veteran.
Since retiring, he has worked in government contracting for companies such as Boeing, Northrop Grumman, and Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA).
Sidock, a father of two girls, is a registered Girl Scout leader and has extensive volunteer experience in other organizations as well.
“I’ve always done something to try to give back,” Sidock said. “I was fortunate growing up with all the youth programs and things I did that other volunteers gave to us.”
Sidock joined the Carroll County Veterans Independence Project as a board member in October 2020 and said the organization’s president Frank Valenti and the rest of the board worked for a long time to start its Veterans Service Center, located in Suite 104 on 95 Carroll Street in Westminster.
The establishment of a Veterans Services Center was recommended by the Carroll County Veterans Advisory Council (VAC), formed by the Board of County Commissioners effective July 1, 2014, which functions as an entity of the Department of Citizen Services, according to the CCVIP website.
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The suite lease was signed in November 2020 but the center is not yet open. Valenti said the executive director role was created to turn the organization’s goals and aspirations into a reality and Sidock has been coordinating with current CCVIP volunteers and paid staff members to get the center up and running since moving into his role in January.
“He’s motivated, he’s disciplined and he has personal experience being a veteran and dealing with veterans issues,” Valenti said. “He has a sense of what it’s like to sit on the other side of the desk, going somewhere and needing help, so he brings that experience of being on the other side as a patient and veteran in need of services.
“He’s got that drive and that passion for it.”
Community support and donations have continued to drive the organization’s motivation for creating the service center. The location is equipped with technologically-advanced sanitary measures to keep veterans safe in the facility during the coronavirus pandemic and an outdoor space will also be available for picnics and other events.
Valenti said CCVIP is flexibly planning a soft opening for the facility in May with a grand opening to follow in June depending on staffing and the direction of the pandemic.
“I’m excited with this new role,” Sidock said. “It’s different and when I was in industry I worked in large government programs on the government contracting side of things and you go home at the end of the day knowing you’re helping oversee something to get it built that’s going to help the warfighter … "
“Here, when you go home, you feel different. It’s like ‘Wow, I helped this veteran today.’”