Veterans Helping Veterans, a committee through VFW and American Legion, is doing its best to help veterans in need.
Committee leader Jim Blackburn, who served in Vietnam, says at least 22 veterans nationwide commit suicide per day.
“If we can just prevent one of those, it’s well worth it,” said Blackburn.
Blackburn said the group, so far, has helped six disabled veterans, including one veteran who was bed bound on oxygen.
“He just wanted to be able to see the sun,” said Blackburn. “So, we were able to build him a deck at his home.”
Recently, the veterans build a wheelchair ramp for veteran Larry Kirkland. Larry’s wife, Janet, had requested the ramp as she could not get him down some stairs for a medical appointment.
A group of volunteers, representing VFW Post 6073, American Legion Post 30 and Center Point Baptist Church, and with financial assistance from Green Lumber Company and Home Depot, built the ramp at no cost to the family.
“Sadly, Larry passed away only a few days later, but not before sharing some laughs and prayers with fellow veterans,” said Blackburn.
Kirkland was an Air Force veteran of over 35 years of service to his country, specializing in radar technology. His service included combat tours in Vietnam, Desert Storm, Iraqi Freedom and the Global War on Terrorism.
Blackburn said it’s people like Kirkland, who served his country, that the group wants to help when needed.
Blackburn is not only encouraging veterans but non-veterans to get involved.
“You do not have to be a member of any organization or have any trade experience, just a desire to help other veterans who have become disabled, have health or financial issues. There is a job for everyone no matter your age or skill level.”
If you want to become a part of this outreach for veterans in need or wish to make a donation to fund veteran benevolence activities, call Blackburn at 256-244-4476.