Bristol, TN (WJHL) – Inside a small building on a country road in Bristol, Tennessee, wounds from wars fought around the world are being healed.
“I try to do puzzles to keep my mind from racing all the time,” says veteran Jason Morgan.
Morgan suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, following multiple tours of duty serving in Iraq.
Disabled American Veterans Chapter 39 hosted Morgan and other veterans Tuesday to put together arts and crafts projects.
“I’m still trying to deal with it today,” says Morgan, “a lot of the issues come from friends’ deaths over there, and things of that nature.”
The DAV works to protect those who protected America’s freedoms, and are now struggling in their post-military lives.
Commander Michael Harman says their mission is “To not leave any veteran behind, that includes their spouses or children and widowed spouses and orphaned children.”
“A lot of times when we get a veteran or a veteran’s family, they are distraught, or they are just aggravated with the system,” says Harman.
The DAV works to help these heroes with everything from aiding them in filing paperwork with the Veterans Administration, to financial help with electric bills, to helping find housing for homeless vets.
“They deserve everything they can get,” says volunteer and veteran James Camper, “everyone that joins the military writes a check to their country, up to and including my life.”
There may not be a limit to the help the organization wants to provide, but there is a limit when it comes to fundraising. Fortunately, Food City has stepped up for DAV Chapter 39, by donating proceeds from Thursday’s Food City Family Race Night to them. Food City has donated over $500,000 to charitable organizations since the event began over 25 years ago.
“It’s really a game-changer for this chapter, and the veterans in this area,” says Harman, “every penny is going for veterans’ aid and support, whether it’s paying a light bill, or putting someone in a home… there’s no words to explain what Food City has done for this organization and this chapter.”
The money can even go to something as simple as the arts and crafts project, which Morgan says could literally save the lives of veterans with struggles similar to his.
“With veteran suicides, with the numbers there, it’s crucial to have things like this,” says Morgan, “because if you sit around too long and think about stuff too long, you never know, you could be that person, a statistic.”
Harman says they are fighting that battle with another statistic.
“It’s one team, one fight here at Chapter 39,” he says.
A fight that will be receiving a big boost, thanks to Food City Family Race Night.
“They’re going to be having years of support for local veterans coming out of what we’re getting,” says Harman.
If you would like to donate, or if you would like to volunteer your time to the Disabled American Veterans Chapter 39, you can contact them at 423.573.6924. They are located at 630 Carden Hollow Road in Bristol, TN.
They also have a Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/dav39bristol/
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