Henry Ford once said, "Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success."
Such is the case in Oregon City, Ore., where Master Sgt. Bobby Vickery, Oregon National Guard Counterdrug Program (ONGCD) Civil Operations, coached the Oregon City Together (OCT) coalition to a 2013 $600,000 Drug Free Communities Grant.
"If you include the required matching dollars, the community will apply over a million dollars to addressing substance abuse related issues," Master Sgt. Curtis Hanock, National Guard Civil Operations chief, said.
Being chosen as a grant recipient is the culmination of work that began in 2011 when community volunteers came together to form OCT. Their goal was to form a sustainable coalition dedicated to reducing substance use in Oregon City. Developing such an enterprise takes coordination, cooperation and dedication. Consequently, OCT, in an effort to put together the best possible enterprise, called on the Oregon National Guard Counterdrug Task Force Civil Operations team to coach them.
Enter Master Sgt. Robert Vickery. He took the lead and facilitated the creation of OCT's vision and mission statements while coaching the coalition's steering committee through the Strategic Prevention Framework process. Master Sgt. Vickery's guidance included the needs assessment process, the problem assessment, understanding strategy implementation, developing an interventions map, and developing an action plan. In addition, Vickery assisted the coalition's use of root cause analysis and helped them select strategies based on those root causes to create community change.
"As a forming coalition with limited resources, having Bobby's guidance and insight into the process was crucial," Elizabeth Russell, coalition coordinator, said.
Vickery's efforts enabled the coalition to develop a model of change commonly known as a logic model. This logic model visually depicted the local substance use conditions of the community.
"Bobby's ongoing input on the coalition's core processes for decision-making and capacity building has been an essential part of our growing strength as a prevention coalition," Russell said.
With the DFC Grant deadline looming and questions mounting, Elizabeth Russell, the coalition coordinator, again requested assistance from the Oregon National Guard Counterdrug Program. Upon the request, Master Sgt. Vicker, once again, stepped up and proceeded to coach the coalition members through the grant application process. His efforts helped the coalition members better decipher and answer grant application questions.
"Bobby went above and beyond with our grant-writing process, attending countless meetings and work sessions, delivering data and documents at the drop of a hat, and advising our coalition with regard to over all structure and strategies."
This is a great example of how our Civil Operators can coach communities to success while honing their specific skills for stabilization missions," Hanock said. "His military skill set significantly contributed to this coalition's ability to become more effective at its mission."
"In briefly reviewing the work of our Community Assessment and Grant Writing team, it's abundantly clear that Bobby's role in gathering treatment data, developing our logic model, and compiling an interventions matrix was instrumental in creating a winning grant proposal," Russell said. "Vickery's leadership, direction, and overall support was a crucial factor in the coalition being awarded the 2013 Drug Free Communities Grant."
The ONGCD Civil Operators and OCT prove Ford was correct: Success comes from working together. Master Sgt. Vickery, along with Staff Sgt. Nathan Long, a fellow Oregon Civil Operator, will continue to work with community coalitions across Oregon to find ways to succeed and reduce substance use in Oregon. Together, they support the Oregon Healthy Authority and 17 community coalitions.