WEST SACRAMENTO — A local veteran is getting some well-deserved national recognition for his nonprofit work.
The next time you’re in the liquor aisle of the grocery store you may see a local face on one of the bottles.
“Who gets their picture on a bourbon bottle, you know?” said Sgt. Tracey Divita.
Divita is one of six veterans recognized in Evan Williams’ annual American-Made Heroes campaign.
Wednesday morning, he received a $10,000 check to donate to the nonprofit of his choice and that nonprofit just happens to be his own.
“Every cent of that and everything I get goes right to the veteran,” he told FOX40.
Sgt. Divita founded Operation Good To Go after returning from his service in the U.S. Marine Corps and experiencing the struggles many veterans go through while trying to adjust back to normal life.
“I lived it,” Divita said. “So most of these experiences are things that I personally experienced and so I just want to take these burdens off of these families.”
Now, he uses the tools he was given in the military to help out other veterans in need.
“Homeless veterans are surviving in the field of homelessness and we were trained to survive in the field and we put our life in that sea bag,” he said.
Divita uses the same sea bags issued to Marines but fills them with basic necessities like a tent, sleeping bag, clothes and hygiene products, and hands them out to homeless veterans.
“And they’re just blown away,” Divita said. “I mean, a brand new pair of shoes that fit right, you know. I mean, it’s just these simple things.”
Through Operation Good To Go Divita also helps struggling families of veterans pay their bills. His goal is to make sure veterans feel supported and he said through the process he’s found his own sense of purpose too.
“I hadn’t felt for a long time and so to feel, you know … to feel again, that’s what keeps me going,” he said.
A friend and fellow Marine who Sgt. Divita hasn’t seen since high school nominated him for the American-Made Heroes campaign.