YORKVET draws on own experience to help peers transition

Local military veteran Aaron Saylor recently began working with The Higher Standard Project – a joint York County Veterans Affairs / Bell Socialization project that provides a privately funded recovery home for veterans.

Story by: Anthony Machcinski
Aaron Saylor, a local military veteran, is working on gaining national accreditation for The Higher Standard Project. (Photo by Caleb Robertson for Our York Media)

Aaron Saylor came back from his first deployment to Iraq in 2006 and applied for a job at Red Lobster.

“It just takes a high level of responsibility to work here,” a hiring manager told him.

He wasn’t offered the job – or any others that were open at the restaurant.

“It can be frustrating for guys to find their way in the civilian world,” Aaron says. “Civilians know the leadership skills that we have but translating that into jobs is difficult.”


Aaron served a second tour in Iraq before he was honorably discharged. When he got out, he heard the usual post-military professions – police officers, firefighters, blue collar workers – but he sought something different.

“Those are all good jobs, but not all of us want to do those jobs coming out of the service,” Aaron says.

He went to school and received a bachelor’s degree in psychology. He later landed a job as a resource coordinator for Bell Socialization Services in York.

It can be frustrating for guys to find their way in the civilian world.

Aaron Saylor Local military veteran

Two months ago, he began working with the York County Veterans Affairs’ Higher Standard Project – a privately funded recovery home for veterans undergoing treatment for trauma, substance abuse or both while enrolled in York County’s Veterans Wellness Court.

Aaron’s focus is getting the recovery home nationally accredited through the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF).

CARF-accredited facilities go through an intensive process that begins with self-evaluation and ends with an on-site survey.

“Anyone could have a home, lease it out to guys and call it a recovery place,” Aaron says. “That’s not what we want. The expectations and standards are extremely high for this project.”


Aaron is entrenched at Bell and thrives off of The Higher Standard Project’s mission.

“I’m happy to be back with the veteran community,” he says. “This was something that was very interesting for me, to get in on the ground floor of a project you care about and has personal meaning to you.”

Sponsored by York County Department of Veterans Affairs

Visit: York County VA website
28 E. Market St. York, PA 17401

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