Man combines passion for coffee with desire to help veterans

Operation Transition Outside the Wire is a non-profit, veteran-owned company that has plans to develop 130-acres north of Williams, Ariz., for a ranch to house veterans and their spouses for up to six months as they transition from military to civilian life, Williams-Grand Canyon News reported.

The property will host 25 safari-style tents for couples, families or individuals to live in during their stay, along with a mess hall, common area for gatherings, a K9 training facility for service dogs, a multi-service center and a coffee roasting and distribution facility, the paper explained.

The facility is being funded through coffee memberships sold by Operation Transition Outside the Wire. The group is not pursuing any government funding due to the restrictions that often come with it. For example, the government won’t fund programs that offers services to both a veteran and his or her spouse as well as children.

As a result, the mission is funded entirely by the sale of its coffee, which is grown on private plantations in Guatemala and Nicaragua and roasted in Williams.

The organization was founded by Thomas West, 52, a U.S. Marine Corps veteran who has personally experienced the struggles of coming home and adjusting to civilian life, dealing with homelessness, alcoholism, post-traumatic stress syndrome and broken relationships.

“By partnering with corporations, private donors and other non-profits who believe in and support our mission, we strive to prevent as many of the 22 veteran suicides that occur every day,” he explained. “We needed to be proactive and create a program specifically for those just leaving service.”

During their time at the ranch veterans and their spouses will be offered housing, employment, transitional support services, transportation, community and resources to help with job searches, higher education and whatever other needs that come up, the paper reported.

“This gives them the necessary time to develop their new purpose,” West said.

People can learn more about Operation Outside the Wire, make a one-time coffee purchase from its website at our become a member to set up regular delivery.

The full story is available at Williams-Grand Canyon News.