Easing Veterans’ Transition to Civilian Life

Easing Veterans’ Transition to Civilian Life

Riverside, CA

U.S. Army Sgt. Major Gregory Coker is

Retired U.S. Army Sgt. Major Gregory Coker is the founder of Reaching New Heights Foundation, a nonprofit organization focused on helping veterans transition back into civilian life. 

Although Coker spent nearly 27 years between the Army and the Army reserve, he is still committed to serving his country as evidenced by his commitment to the nation’s returning veterans. 

Coker joined the reserves when he was only twenty-four. He participated in ROTC while attending Central State University and fell in love with its structure and discipline. A former corporate sales executive, Coker was called to active duty in the wake of September 11th. 

Coker served two tours in Iraq as an operations sergeant for a battalion that provided combat support. He is also a recipient of the Bronze Star. 

When Coker retired from active service in 2014, almost immediately he set to work implementing a plan he initially conceived while still in service—to launch a nonprofit organization focused on helping military service members transition to civilian life. 

The Riverside based, Reaching New Heights Foundation provides a hand up to struggling veterans in several ways. It helps veterans find transitional and permanent housing; assists with job and educational training; provides mentoring through a court treatment program; and connects the individuals with any additional resources they might need. 

In late December, Riverside County Superior Court Judge Mark Johnson, who oversees Riverside County's treatment court program, spoke about Coker’s program. He identified Coker's involvement as crucial. “'He's amazing,” Johnson shared and continued, “This guy is nothing short of magnificent.” 

Johnson stressed that although Coker does not get paid for his efforts, he runs the program for both Riverside and San Bernardino Counties. Johnson also noted that although the Reaching New Heights Foundation is not a part of the court program, it is important because it provides services the court cannot. 

For more on the Reaching New Heights Foundation visit http://www.reachingnewheightsfoundation.com/

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