Work Vessels for Veterans

Work Vessels for Veterans

Who are the Work Vessels for Veterans?

Work Vessels for Veterans, founded by John Niekrash in 2008, is a nonprofit and charitable organization. It is one of the 501(c)(3) organizations in the United States. Work Vessels provides equipment to injured veterans to start businesses or pursue careers they otherwise couldn’t due to their injuries. The organization has assisted more than 2,200 wounded veterans since 2008 and operates in about 50 states across the United States.

Generally, WVFV offers three main programs with equipment grants ranging from $1,000 to $8,000 with rare exceptions as mentioned below:

  1. Providing small businesses owned by veterans with equipment.
  2. Equipping injured veterans with farming equipment.
  3. Providing resources to nonprofit organizations that serve veterans.

Veteran Application Process

The veterans’ applications form process at WVFV is easy and convenient for veterans to apply for the required types of equipment and tools they need for their business. They can visit the official website and review all available programs and services that meet their requirements, and then they can apply in the application section.

Work Vessel’s application form must meet the following requirements:

  • Honorable discharge from active duty – The copy of your DD214 form must be uploaded.
  • VA Disability Rating – Please upload a copy if applicable.
  • Your business plan must be uploaded if your interests are self-employed.
  • A statement of the equipment your business needs.

Filling out a form involves the following steps:

  • Go to the Application form section of the website.
  • Fill out the application describing your goals and plans as well as the assistance you are seeking.

Upload the following three items:

  • A copy of your DD214 (redact the Social Security number).
  • A copy of your business plan (including income & expense estimates).
  • The statement of need should include how the requested equipment will assist you in reaching your goals.

FAQs for applicants

Do you provide equipment to businesses of any kind?

As veteran entrepreneurs, we support all kinds of business ideas. We are honestly amazed by the talent that goes into them.

What is the average cost of an equipment grant?

In general, a vessel may have a value of $5,000-6,000, but others may be much lower or higher.

How long is the application process?

Depends on the situation. No warehouse is available to us for equipment. Applicants whose applications are approved are matched with donations from individuals or corporations.

How secure is my DD214?

We maintain all DD214 documents on a locked external drive that is only accessible by designated staff members. It is highly recommended that you redact your social security number.

Why is a business plan necessary, and how can it help you?

The Mentoring Corps offers expert evaluators who work with WVFV applicants to ensure you have the best plan to succeed and that the equipment will effectively make your dream a success.

What do you expect in return?

There is nothing! In return, we ask that you help fellow veterans in need and serve your community as you did your country.

How Do I Contact Work Vessels for Veterans?

The following details can be used to contact Work Vessel:

Work Vessels for Vets, Inc.

Post Office Box 215

West Mystic, CT 06388


Phone: 860.536.4418

What WVFV has done

In 2008, WVFV, founded by John Niekrash, was born out of a selfless act. However, he could never have imagined the extent to which this one gesture would grow into thousands, impacting the entire United States.

At first, the project sought to offer a vessel a year. Still, donations and support from volunteers and interested parties allowed it to succeed. Currently, there are several projects and programs underway.

With the help of corporate and individual donations, WVFV has provided veterans with fishing vessels, vans, vehicles, laptop computers, trucks, toolsets, tractors, trailers, farmland, fencing, furniture and more.

Success Stories

The project for veterans began when John Niekrash, a lobsterman from Noank, Connecticut, heard about a wounded soldier’s dedication and service after being injured in Iraq. Niekrash decided to give his boat to someone who had served his country well for 17 years. A USMC Reservist who served three tours in Iraq and Afghanistan was given Krasher I, the organization’s first vessel for commercial fishing in Narragansett Bay, RI, and a legacy was born.

As mentioned below, there are many other Success Stories from Work Vessel Organization:

  • With WVFV tools, Green Beret Crafts breathes new life into leather.

The great honor of providing a hand up to an extraordinary hero is something that Work Vessels for Vets does every once in a while. The Green Beret Special Forces Green Beret retired Maj. McCave, a humble and seriously injured Green Beret National Guard member, received machinery in December 2019.

  • The WVFV gave MYSTIC OYSTERS a boat worth $38,000 as a gift to veteran Marc Harrell.

Veteran Marc Harrell was given a MYSTIC OYSTER boat worth $38000 by the organization last year to launch his own business.

  • US Army Capt. Andrew W of Worthington, Indiana, received medical and financial support.

Veteran Andrew W had injuries to his back and legs as a result of combat. He needed assistance getting around his farm. After contacting WVFV, something unique happened – they responded promptly and treated Andrew with dignity.

Additionally, WVFV has several success stories. Click here for more information.


To know more about the Work Vessel organization and its latest initiatives and programs, you can download its brochure from the official website of the organization, or you can click here.


The organization runs numerous events and programs both on a regular and yearly basis, including charity golf tournaments for veterans, bidding and auctions, fun events and trips.

For the latest updates, visit the Events Section on the official Work Vessel Organization website.

Donate to WVFV

Those who wish to contribute to the mission of WVFV for our injured veterans can donate here: Click here to donate

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