Sean Dreer served in the Navy for 27 years, from 1987 to 2015. He now lives in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where he is a member of The Turtle Post 3846 in Churubusco.
Dreer is #StillServing his community by volunteering at a few local organizations, including Parkview Home Health & Hospice Fort Wayne, Alliance of Therapy Dogs Cheyenne WY, and his local VFW Post.
One of Dreer’s favorite things to do is participate in military pinning ceremonies at Parkview Home and Hospice when he brings in a veteran pin, certificate, battle buddy (a small bear with a similar military pin) and lap quilt. During a quiet ceremony, Dreer presents the items to the veteran who is being honored.
“I always thank our veterans and their families for their service and dedication to this country,” he said. “I’ll sit and talk with them if they can speak. Most veterans don’t open up to their families about what happened on duty, but sometimes they’ll talk to another veteran. That’s why I go.”
Dreer says he has performed the ceremony for veterans of World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm, Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Enduring Freedom.
“Doing military pinnings is always an honor for me,” he said.
Dreer also assists veterans with their disability claims as a VFW Post service officer.
As things change at the VA, Dreer works diligently to keep veterans up to speed on new forms and procedures. As a disabled veteran himself, he understands the struggle that disabled or injured veterans experience.
“I teach veterans everything they need to know about the VA and help them fill out their paperwork,” he said.
Dreer knows that the individuals he helps appreciate his work, which is all the thanks he needs.
“I really enjoy helping our veterans get the assistance they need,” he said. “Whether it’s navigating VA matters or just someone to talk with — that’s why we’re here.”
For the last two years, Dreer has also helped his Post deliver gifts to kids of community families on Christmas. Many times, providing gift cards to the families so they can purchase holiday groceries.
Dreer realizes that the holidays can be especially challenging for veterans struggling with their mental health. No matter the time of year, he wants those men and women to know there is support.
“VFW Post 3846 is home to the Churubusco Suicide Prevention Awareness Task Force,” he said. “We’re working with the VA and Post members to tackle this issue by informing the community about signs of suicide to help people prevent the loss of a loved one.
“If you, or anyone you know, may be experiencing signs of self-harm, please know that there are resources available to help,” Dreer continued. “You’re not alone.”