Thank you for sup­port­ing vet­er­ans in need

Maryland Independent - - Community Forum -

The Na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion for Black Vet­er­ans (NABVets) South­ern Mary­land Chap­ter 96 would like to thank all or­ga­ni­za­tions and com­mu­nity who do­nated coats (male and fe­male) for the Wash­ing­ton Vet­er­ans Ad­min­is­tra­tion Med­i­cal Cen­ter an­nual Win­ter­haven for the Home­less Vet­er­ans held Jan. 30.

NABVets col­lected 202 coats for the pe­riod of Oc­to­ber through De­cem­ber in sup­port of Wash­ing­ton, D.C., Mary­land and Vir­ginia home­less vet­er­ans who par­tic­i­pated in the all-day out­reach Win­ter­haven project from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. which in­cluded trans­porta­tion, per­sonal items distri­bu­tion, meals and veteran as­sis­tance ser­vices.

Win­ter­haven con­sists of a multi-cul­tural di­verse group of men and women of all ages from all branches of the U.S. mil­i­tary. A num­ber of these men and women are vet­er­ans of ma­jor U.S. mil­i­tary cam­paigns, such as the Viet­nam War, Desert Shield, Gulf War, Desert Strike, War in Afghanistan and Iraq to name a few. Many of these vet­er­ans are cur­rently battling hard­ships and dis­abil­i­ties that are both phys­i­cal and cog­ni­tive. Some of these chal­lenges are vis­i­bly ap­par­ent and some are not so vis­i­bly ap­par­ent. Through­out the ser­vice day a num­ber of vet­er­ans shared a bit of in­sight into their cur­rent predica­ment re­gard­ing this stage of their lives. The sin­cere, heart­felt ap­pre­ci­a­tion ex­pressed by the Win­ter­haven vet­er­ans’ to­wards the many ven­dors and NABVets who con­trib­uted time and ef­fort was ex­tremely re­ward­ing. More than 50 var­i­ous or­ga­ni­za­tions par­tic­i­pated dur­ing this all-day event. The groups con­sisted of the Depart­ment of Vet­er­ans Af­fairs, gov­ern­ment (fed­eral, state and lo­cal) veteran or­ga­ni­za­tions, for-profit and non­profit or­ga­ni­za­tions in ad­di­tion to the lo­cal com­mu­nity com­ing to­gether of­fer­ing hope­ful sup­port in a col­lab­o­ra­tive ef­fort to fight veteran home­less­ness.

Through­out the day, vet­er­ans were given ac­cess to a large bank of in­for­ma­tion, re­sources and treated to a hot lunch. In ad­di­tion, vet­er­ans ex­pe­ri­enced a full day of ser­vices such as free health screen­ings, lodg­ing, work, ad­vis­ing for drug/ al­co­hol depen­den­cies, men­tal health ser­vices, den­tal exams, HIV test­ing, ther­mal ap­parel and footwear were pre­sented to veteran at­ten­dees. Guid­ance for vet­er­ans was ac­ces­si­ble through a re­source data­base per­tain­ing to fore­clo­sure an­tic­i­pa­tion, manag­ing fi­nances, and ed­u­ca­tion. Trans­porta­tion was pro­vided by the church com­mu­nity and the Metro rail for free to sup­port the Win­ter­haven at­ten­dees.

We are very ap­pre­cia­tive of the pub­lic’s de­sires to do­nate time or fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance to­wards the bet­ter­ment of all vet­er­ans. In an ef­fort to strengthen our sup­port and to pro­tect the in­tegrity of our vet­er­ans’ as­sis­tance ef­forts, NAB Vets will make ev­ery ef­fort to ver­ify and val­i­date back­ground checks prior to the ac­cep­tance of all do­na­tions.

Mike Moses, Wal­dorf The writer is the com­man­der of the Na­tional As­so­ci­a­tion for Black Vet­er­ans South­ern Mary­land Chap­ter 96.

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