Where did you serve and what did you do?
I earned my eligibility to serve in the VFW after spending a year in the Army assigned to Uijongbu, Camp Red Cloud, South Korea between 1986-1987. I served in various roles: admin, supply, transport, etc.
How are you #StillServing?
As Commander of Lake Murray VFW 6740 (Leesville, SC), I was contacted about a struggling disabled veteran, located in Swansea, SC. Most urgently, the veteran and his family were in desperate need of a hot water heater, but they also needed two appliances, including a stove and refrigerator.
Lengthy planning sessions between our VFW senior officers and current/past auxiliary presidents (Maxine Caughman and Karen Zaledzieski) helped us move forward. After hours of phone calls, emails and texts, we eventually developed a strong team that consisted of three different VFWs, including Lake Murray VFW 6740 & Lake Murray VFW 6740 Auxiliary, Pelion VFW 9037 Auxiliary, and Wagener VFW 6304.
Lake Murray VFW 6740 took the lead role in planning and organizing the activities that took place to help this veteran, and the Comrades of my post used our Relief Fund to purchase the needed hot water heater.
The Auxiliary from Pelion VFW 9037 were extremely active contributors as Auxiliary member Beth Keisler spent countless hours visiting with this veteran to assess his needs; she also spent a great deal of time traveling to pick up and deliver the hot water heater. As if that wasn’t enough from this dedicated Auxiliary, VFW 9037 Auxiliary President Jerri Williams was able to provide the veteran with a $200 gift card!
While all of these plans were underway, the Commander from Wagener VFW 6304, Joe Quattlebaum, reached out to me, and in a short period of time, he’d put together a team to join in the efforts. Cmdr Quattlebaum, Chaplain Tony Day and Senior Vice Jimmy Hudson (VFW 6304) were eventually successful in acquiring two of the needed appliances (including a refurbished stove and refrigerator), which they picked up and delivered to the vet’s home.
While this opportunity to serve our community ultimately only affected one veteran, the united efforts also improved the quality of life for his wife and two children. It was an amazing display of love and dedication by three dedicated VFW and VFW Auxiliaries, which demonstrated the power of working together to get the job done! I am always proud of the efforts of my VFW family, but nothing fills my heart more than when veterans and auxiliary members from different posts join the same team to help others! #stillserving
Why do you do it?
I am honored to serve my country in any way I am able, but I am especially pleased when I can help a veteran in need. Everyone has unique skills and abilities, and we all need to apply those strengths to help others.