Showing posts with label volunteers for veterans. Show all posts
Showing posts with label volunteers for veterans. Show all posts

Sunday, November 19, 2017

New Freedom Medal Award Celebrates Service After Service

New Freedom Medal Award winners feted at gala

Delaware County News Network
Leslie Krowchenko
November 18, 2017

Kinney, of Middletown, delayed his college education to enlist in the Marine Corps, serving in Vietnam in 1966-1967. Upon his return he joined the VFW, American Legion and Disabled American Veterans and has assisted in performing more than 1,000 military funerals. He was inducted into the Chapel of the Four Chaplains Legion of Honor in 2016.

Seated from left, Freedom Medal Award winners Sean Sweeney, Marty Costello, Jennifer Jones, Dr. Tina Kane, Jerry Sweeley and Bill Kinney Jr. are flanked by members of Delaware County Council and the Delaware County Veterans Memorial Association board.
SPRINGFIELD  Honoring America’s veterans should not be limited to the eleventh day of the eleventh month.
The Delaware County Veterans Memorial Association and Delaware County Council insure that respect is year-round.
More than 500 local residents joined Thursday night for the fourth annual Freedom Medal Award dinner. The event at Springfield Country Club provided an Olympic-style podium to congratulate dedication to country recipients Marty Costello, Jennifer Jones, Bill Kinney Jr., Jerry Sweeley and Sean Sweeney, Dr. Tina Kane (dedication to education), the Videon family (dedication to community) and Delaware County Councilman David White (president’s award).
“This is an opportunity to honor our heroes for their service and sacrifice,” said Army veteran and association board President Guy Fizzano. “It is also a chance to thank our donors, who support the memorial’s upkeep and its educational programs.”
This year’s honorees represent the best of the Army, Navy and Marine Corps. Costello, of Radnor, enlisted in the Navy in 1976 and served as an aircraft mechanic with Attack Squadron 82. He has dedicated numerous hours to local veterans’ organizations and their causes, including as commander of the Delaware County American Legion committee, and worked to rebuild and rededicate the war memorial in his home town.

Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Veteran Gets Help With Place to Live, Thieves Steal Volunteers Tools!

Thieves steal tools from volunteers building home for homeless veteran
KY3 News
Dustin Hodges
Dec 21, 2015
A man from Mountain Home who served his country was getting the Christmas gift of a lifetime until his holiday hopes turned into heartbreak.

Army veteran William Murray had to spend last winter living in a camper.

"We happened to have one of the coldest winters last year and all of our money went to propane to keep it heated," Murray said on Monday.

This fall,volunteers helped Murray find local churches and a local business owner who helped get him an abandoned house and materials to fix it up.

"I was amazed at the blessings that just came in," said Murray.

"One thing led to another and we've been progressing on getting the house done and trying to get them a good warm place to live and a permanent residence for him and his girlfriend," said volunteer contractor Scott Callender.
Then, last week, thieves broke into the house and stole all the volunteers' tools worth about $2,500.
read more here

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Veterans Overcoming PTSD by Volunteering At VA

Veteran overcomes PTSD through volunteerism at VA
WMAZ News 13
Justin R McDuffie
August 19, 2015

Gus Albritton's time in uniform came during the Vietnam War.

And now many at the Dublin VA have coined him the hospital's volunteer extraordinaire. Allbritton said that volunteering has helped him overcome his personal battle of post-traumatic stress disorder.

"Whether they're in their sixties like myself or whether or not they're in their twenties, war is war, and PTSD is PTSD," Allbritton said.

He was drafted into the Army right after high school and served in Vietnam. Those years left him with memories that still haunt him to this day.
"You will never be cured of PTSD, there's no way to get rid of it. But there's a way to try and live with some of it," Allbritton said.

Allbritton started his healing process being treated by several VA hospitals. Outside of the medical professionals that helped him, he found real support in his fellow veterans. He now passes down that support, and has enjoyed for the past 23 years volunteering at the VA hospital.
read more here

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Home of the Brave Homeless Veterans Get Pot

Homeless veterans were discovering apartment walls don't make a home when they have nothing to cook with. A veteran faced that fact when he wanted to cook a meal for himself. Now he is doing what he can to make sure homeless veterans have pots, pans and everything else they need to start again.
Once homeless vet helping others with home basics
Courier Post
Carol Comegno
July 31, 2015
Former homeless veteran Fred Silhol sits in his Audubon apartment with the apartment starter kit he put together for other homeless vets transitioning to permanent housing from Volunteers of America homeless shelters. (Photo: JOHN ZIOMEK/COURIER-POST)
AUDUBON – A homeless and divorced military retiree from Cherry Hill found himself living in a car and then a seedy motel until reluctantly landing at the Home of the Brave, a homeless shelter in Camden for veterans.

After getting rehired to his old job as a bartender at the Crowne Plaza hotel on Route 70, Fred Silhol was able to leave the shelter for an apartment in Audubon with the assistance of Volunteers of America Delaware Valley, the Home of the Brave operator.

Excited to be in his own home again, the retired U.S. Army master sergeant wanted to cook dinner that first night but suddenly came to a ballon-bursting realization. He did not have a pot or pan, dish or cup, silverware, can opener or anything else to prepare a meal and eat it except for his stove.

Resolute, he scraped $50 together to buy some basic, but essential, items for his new home.

That gave Silhol the idea to pull together another apartment starter kit for a homeless veteran transitioning from a shelter to permanent housing.

The VOA accepted his donation and embraced the concept, creating a new program kicking off this month called ASK, the Apartment Starter Kit.

“I just wanted to give back something for what the VOA did for me and to help other veterans who may find themselves in the same predicament as I did when leaving the shelter,” said Silhol, 54, a who served as a paratrooper in both the 82nd and 101st Airborne Divisions and as a drill sergeant.
read more here

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Combat Medic-Afghanistan Veteran Gets Care from Home Depot Volunteers

Watch: Hundreds of volunteers renovate wounded veteran's damaged home
By Justin Zaremba
September 12, 2014

HAMBURG — For George Alakpa, Sept. 11s have served as bookends to a harsh chapter in his life.

It was the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001 that inspired him, a Nigerian immigrant, to join the U.S. Army. It was while serving as a medic in Afghanistan that he was severely injured and suffered a traumatic spinal cord injury when a roadside bomb exploded.

After returning from Afghanistan nearly two years ago, Alakpa, who also suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder, hit a new low when he nearly lost his home in Hamburg. The sum of these events — including his isolation at the time — caused him to contemplate suicide, he said.
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Saturday, August 23, 2014

Montana VA intimidates DAV volunteer for picture reporter took?

VA 'intimidates' decorated war veteran for being photographed on VA property
Billings Gazette
By Cindy Uken
August 21, 2014
Ed Saunders is seen in this Aug. 14 photo that the Veterans Administration is claiming is in violation of their rules because it was taken on their property at the Majestic Lane Clinic without authorization.
Ed Saunders Statement

Who is Ed Saunders?
Ed Saunders is one of Yellowstone County's most trusted and respected veterans. He is:

-- a Ret. Lt. Col in the U.S. Army

-- a decorated ground combat veteran, Persian Gulf War

-- a disabled veteran with service-related disabilities

-- a former member of the Yellowstone County Veterans Cemetery which has been renamed Yellowstone National Veterans Cemetery

-- a member of the Big Sky Honor Flight Board of Directors

-- one of the veterans who led the effort to get public transportation to the West End VA Clinic.

-- a driver with the Disabled Veterans Transportation Network

-- a lifetime member of Disabled Veterans of America

-- a lifetime member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars

Saunders has also helped numerous veterans get medals they earned but never received.
A man who helps disabled veterans with transportation to Montana’s VA facilities has been threatened with a $50 fine for appearing in a photo with a newspaper article critical of the new West End VA clinic.

In a sworn affidavit, Ed Saunders, adjutant of Billings Chapter 10 of Disabled American Veterans, said he was at the Billings VA Clinic on Aug. 18 on DAV business when VA police officer Steve McCollum asked Saunders to come to his office.

McCollum said he wanted a written statement from Saunders about his involvement with the Billings Gazette photo that was published Aug. 15. The news article centered on glitches with the opening of the new $6.3 million Majestic Lane Clinic. Saunders was among those critical of the clinic.

McCollum claimed being in an unauthorized photo on VA property is in violation of VA rules and subject to a $50 fine, according to Saunders’ notarized statement.

Saunders was not aware of the photo rule and said as a DAV public affairs officer he has taken many photos of DAV activities on VA property, including dedication of the new clinic when Montana’s congressional delegation was on hand. Saunders said he has also taken photos of DAV vans parked on VA property.
read more here linked from The Republic

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Delaware National Guards Awards Flag to Volunteer

Elzey Family Receives Honor For Service
Milford Live
Bryan Shupe
May 7, 2014
In April, local business owners Butch and Linda Elzey were presented with an American Flag and certificate of authenticity from Delaware National Guard Sgt. 1st Class Scott Smith during a appreciation dinner the Elzey family held for the recent return of the Delaware National Guard Unit from Afghanistan. The flag presented to the family was flown on September 11, 2013 at Camp Cowpens Kandahar Air Base, the home base of the Delaware National Guard 198th Expeditionary Signal Battalion Task Force in Afghanistan.

In an email sent to Butch and Linda, retired Major General John A. Macdonald explained why he voted for Butch and Linda to receive the honor. “When a trooper knows he will be taken care of…really taken care of…whether on the battlefield, in garrison or at home, s/he will give beyond his/her all,” wrote Macdonald. “So in a very true sense of the word, by providing to troopers that you and your team deeply care, you are contributing to making our most dangerous and capable weapon, the American service member, even more effective.”
read more here

Monday, April 14, 2014

VA honors almost 80,000 volunteers

Veteran Affairs honors 79,000 volunteers
Montgomery Advertiser
Written by
Rebecca Burylo
April 14, 2014

More than 79,000 citizen volunteers were honored recently for their service to Department of Veterans Affairs medical facilities in recognition of National Volunteer Week.

Locally, 600 volunteers were recognized Sunday for their daily support to the Central Alabama Veterans Health Care System during an award appreciation ceremony at Tuskegee VA.

Together, local volunteers were able to contribute more than 51,000 hours in 2013 to the CAVHCS through regular care and meeting driving, directing, sitting, serving, comforting and counseling need.

Volunteers provide a direct impact to a veteran's quality of life and contribute essential operational support, William Petty explained, Chief of Voluntary Service.
read more here

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Community spreads love at VA for Valentine's Day

Visitors spread Valentine cheer to vets for entire week
Social activities room undergoes renovation
The Commercial-News
February 15, 2014

DANVILLE — Valentine’s Day stretched throughout the week for men and women at the Veterans Affairs Illiana Health Care System.

In the past, visitors have congregated on one day to distribute hand-made cards to the veterans. It was a bit overwhelming for the veterans when groups of visitors came into the wards, said Bob Sprouls, chief of recreational therapy and acting chief of voluntary services.

By spreading the visitors out throughout the week, he said, “They’re able to go around and spend more time with the veterans. It worked out really nice.”

Another reason for the change is that the social activities room — where the visitors gathered before making their rounds — is unavailable while it’s being renovated.

Also, the VA is still under a flu advisory, and people under 18 are not allowed to visit. That ruled out school groups coming in, Sprouls said.

Between 30 and 40 visitors came in throughout the week, designated VA National Salute to Hospitalized Veterans Week.
read more here

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Sarasota Police Officers Volunteer to help disabled veteran

Sarasota police work on house for Brandon veteran staff
Published: February 13, 2014

Ten Sarasota police officers volunteered last weekend to work on a home for a retired Brandon soldier, an injured veteran of Iraq and Afghanistan, so she can be closer to her job.

“I’m so grateful to all the members of law enforcement who helped out. I appreciate it so much,” said Sgt. Tia McCants of the house being built by Habitat for Humanity Sarasota. “They did so well, I didn’t know we were going to get as much accomplished as well did.”

McCants, who has a degree from the University of South Florida in social work, joined the Army in 2008 and served more than four years in the Army’s language school where she became fluent in Farsi, according to a release from the Sarasota Police Department. During one of the tours, she was riding in a convoy when her vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device. The blast injured her shoulder and gave her a concussion that left her with lingering headaches. The injury cut short her service.
read more here

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Volunteers step up to help WWII veteran repair home

Volunteers repair veteran's house in Upper Fruitland before the new year
The Daily Times
By Noel Lyn Smith
UPDATED: 01/01/2014

UPPER FRUITLAND — The happiness from World War II veteran Paul Anderson's face could not be erased as he walked into his kitchen Monday.

Anderson, 93, built his house, located in Upper Fruitland off of Old Navajo 36, approximately 60 years ago. But a fire on Dec. 14 left a large hole in the kitchen ceiling, exposing electrical wires and charring insulation and roof trusses.

Katherine Charley, Anderson's daughter, contacted The Daily Times about the situation and asked the public for help to repair the house.

The San Juan County Fire Department determined the fire started when a stove pipe in the roof failed. The pipe either grew too hot, had been the wrong type or had deteriorated over the years because of use, explained San Juan County Fire Chief Doug Hatfield.
read more here

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Music to the ears of wounded veterans recuperating at Walter Reed

Trio Galilei: Music to the ears of wounded veterans recuperating at Walter Reed
Washington Post
By Rebecca Ritzel
December 20 2013

Lt. Col. Samantha Nerove, U.S. Army, retired, remembers the day she started recovering from PTSD as the same day she stopped and listened to the music. Since being airlifted out of Iraq in September 2008 with a badly mangled ankle and severe psychological distress from close-range mortar shellings, she’d been living at Mologne House, a retrofitted hotel on the grounds of what was then the Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Northwest D.C.

Two months into Nerove’s stay, she noticed that every Friday at lunchtime, a trio of musicians — playing a harp, guitar and something that looked like a cello — had started performing in the Mologne House lobby. They developed quite a fan base: The sofas in the lobby were filled with wounded patients, their weary relatives and mesmerized children who wanted to take turns playing a spare harp. If the musicians were between songs, they’d always smile warmly at Nerove, say hello and urge her to join them.
read more here

Thursday, December 19, 2013

Home Depot Employees Help Rebuild Home for Homeless Veterans

Home Depot Employees Help Rebuild Home for Veterans
December 18th, 2013

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WGGB) — More than four dozen volunteers from The Home Depot helped rebuild a home on Pine Street in Springfield.

The home will become a permanent housing facility for eight homeless veterans, run by the Puerto Rican Veterans Association of Massachusetts.
read more here

Home Depot began by putting in all new windows and doors.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Purple Heart Homes and volunteers renovate Vietnam Veteran's home

Vietnam veteran’s Canton home renovation nears completion
Foothills Media Group
Published: Friday, November 22, 2013

Joe Recupero, like so many Vietnam veterans, was never really welcomed home after he served his tour of duty. That will all change for him on Saturday, Dec. 14 – when Purple Heart Homes and the community of Canton will welcome Recupero back to his newly renovated handicap accessible, safe barrier free home.

For several weeks volunteers from Travelers, church groups and work crews from Manchester have been helping Purple Heart Homes build an addition onto Recupero’s home including a handicap accessible bathroom and bedroom, a ramp out the front door and moved his driveway so he can gain easy entrance to his home at 7 Forest Lane in Canton.

Purple Heart Homes Regional Director Vicki Thomas and Project Manager Marlene Figueroa are holding a Canton community-wide meeting on Nov. 20 at 6 p.m. at the Canton Community Center Multi-Purpose room located at 40 Dwyer Ave.

At this meeting interested members of the community who want to learn how they can help plan and be a part of the welcome home ceremony are encouraged to attend. This will also be an opportunity to learn more about Purple Heart Homes and other upcoming projects in the area.
read more here

Vietnam Veteran gets home makeover from Home Depot and army of volunteers

Gloversville vet gets life-changing addition to home
Subrina Dhammi
Posted at: 11/21/2013

GLOVERSVILLE - There's something going on in Gloversville Thursday that is changing the life of a veteran who lives there.

A lot of kind people are building something that will allow Charles Hart to leave his home on his home for the first time, in a very long time.

Some pieces of wood, saws and nails outside, and a veteran, moved to tears inside.

“I can't describe it, I'm getting my freedom back,” says this Vietnam Veteran.

Charles Hart is getting something today that will change his life.

Volunteers from Home Depot are building a ramp on the outside of his Gloversville home that will allow the double amputee to leave his home for the first time, on his own, in a very long time.

“It's hard to keep from crying about it, you have no idea what it's like to be stuck here,” says Hart.

Charles served in Vietnam back in the early 1970's.
read more here

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Dozens Sleep in Cars to Support Veterans

Dozens Sleep in Cars to Support Veterans
FOX 29
By: Erin Nichols

The face of homelessness in San Antonio is changing.

Every day, young homeless veterans and their families have no place to go, but there's an area organization working to shed some light on their struggle.

The Alamo Area Mutual Housing Authority sponsored “One night, one hope” Friday night at Woodlawn Lake.

AAMHA is a nonprofit group that works to help get people back on their feet

The event asked participants to walk in someone else’s shoes and spend a night sleeping in the cars or in tents.

AAMHA Executive Director Jennifer Gonzalez says the homeless veteran population in San Antonio is on the rise, and many times the veterans stay under the radar.

Veterans, and sometimes their entire families, are sleeping in their cars at parking lots.

Gonzalez says they get 20-25 calls a day from veterans needing help.
read more here

Friday, November 1, 2013

Marine Veteran Still Giving Back to Community after Devastating Burglary

Marine Veteran Still Giving Back to Community after Devastating Burglary
FOX 40 News
by Sonseeahray Tonsall
October 31, 2013

She fundraises to help poor children in Ceres have laptops for school and caters appreciation luncheons for city employees. But now the lady known as “Millie-Mom” needs help recovering from the second major theft she’s suffered in three years.

“I’m prepping my stuff now so that I’ll have it all done,” said Millie Fisher as she buzzed around her kitchen Thursday night.

Fisher’s planning to be up until 1 a.m. working on dozens of tamales she intends to give away as presents.

As per usual, this Ceres community advocate is focused on how to brighten someone else’s day and trying not to think about who recently tried to wreck hers.

“My back door was standing open, and the most shocking thing to me – and it still is as I remember it – is that every item on every surface was thrown on the ground,” she said.

Fisher cherishes the few pictures she has left because the thieves ruined family photos that were 80 years old.

Her stereo was stolen right along with her kitchen recipe book.

Also gone?

The retired Marine sergeant’s blue dress uniform from her service back during the Vietnam war.

“I was sick to my stomach for a week,” Fisher said about making the devastating discovery.

After the Marines, Fisher spent 25 years as a 911 dispatcher in Ceres.
read more here

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Omaha Veterans energize area and community to do more

Renovated St. Joseph Hospital wing provides more than apartments for veterans
By Cindy Gonzalez
World-Herald staff writer
October 28, 2013

A 110,000-square-foot building — that for a decade stood essentially empty and deteriorating on a storied site south of downtown Omaha — is now bustling around-the-clock with veteran apartment dwellers, federal employees and college life.

The $16 million transformation of a former wing of the old St. Joseph Hospital is uncommon in the collection of private and public partners that came together to revive the brick structure anchored by the Victory Apartments.

Other parts of the six-story structure at Eighth and Dorcas Streets are leased to the Department of Veterans Affairs for clinical and support services, and to Grace University for classrooms and staff.

While officials view the project as a jewel for area vets, they said it also helps revitalize the aging residential neighborhood around it — and continues a southward buildup of the corridor that connects the Old Market and world-class Henry Doorly Zoo.

“It's just energized this area,” said Tom McLeay of America First Real Estate Group, which is the project's developer and owner.

Since the Victory building's formal opening last month, service and neighborhood groups have delivered welcome wreaths and gift baskets for new veteran tenants who range from age 22 to 82.

One community group has promised to deliver smoked turkeys for Thanksgiving.

Others continue to call, said property manager Tom York, with requests about what they can do for the residents who he said have become a symbol of American pride and loyalty to country.
read more here

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Vietnam vet, wife help new generation of veterans

Vietnam vet, wife help new generation of veterans
Times Online
By Rachel Morgan
Posted: Saturday, October 26, 2013

AMBRIDGE -- Rich and Connie McCracken will mark their 46th wedding anniversary in December. But life hasn’t always been a celebration for this Ambridge couple.

Rich served as an Army corporal with the 5th Special Forces, 1st Group in Vietnam from 1968-69, while his wife was home with their first child, born just five days before he left. Rich returned home one month after his daughter’s first birthday.

And Connie was ready for their new life to start.

“I had all these plans for us, how our life was going to be,” she said.

But for Rich, who suffered from anxiety, depression, flashbacks, isolation and addiction, moving on wasn’t easy.

“When I came home, I gravitated (toward) alcohol to kind of suppress my thoughts,” he said. “I thought that I was crazy, that I was literally crazy. And I didn’t want to tell anybody. I thought it was just me, the war did this to me and nobody else and I’m just this way.”
read more here

Friday, October 25, 2013

Volunteers pour in to build retired veteran a new home

Volunteers pour in to build retired veteran a new home
Home Depot Foundation helps family get new house
By Ignacio Garcia
Updated: Thursday, October 24, 2013

BERTRAM, Texas (KXAN) - Shirley Wright has been living in a small shed in Bertram, Texas since she lost her second mobile home to a tornado in 2009.

"It's not very comfortable," said Shirley Wright, retired Army sergeant. "With three of us or four of us in there it takes up the maximum space."

Life will soon change for the retired Army veteran, who spent 18 years in the service and now grows vegetables for the local food bank and takes in rescue animals.

Wright will move from her 288 square-foot cabin to a four-bedroom, two-bath, 1,500 square-foot home in less than three weeks, just in time for Veterans Day.

About 350 volunteers have been working around the clock for two and a half weeks to bring Wright her dream home.

"My son is in the service, my brother is a vet, my father," said Michael Reichert. "It's just great to give back.
Veterans are twice as likely as the average American to be homeless, making up 16 percent of the homeless population.

Nearly 1.5 million veterans live in poverty and 14 percent have a service-connected disability.

If you know a veteran with a home that needs help, or no home at, click here to view the Home Depot Foundation's grant request form.
read more here