If you don’t have Ghostbusters on your emergency contact list and you find yourself in bad shape physically and financially, the question above is one that military veterans and their families face far too often. Fortunately, military families that are connected to VVA Chapter 154 in Clinton Township, Michigan, have a resource that many times is truly a lifesaver.
I caught up with Gary Purcell, Chapter President, earlier this week to get an update on how his community has been faring over the last few months and what theIr priorities are for the spring. Gary said that the chapter remains in careful mode as chapter members are older and remain concerned about their health, even though most of them have had their vaccines and are looking forward to celebrating veterans this spring and their service to the country.
The mantra of Chapter 154 is Veterans helping Veterans. They believe the best way to honor veterans lost is by providing support and assistance for living veterans and their families. Despite the pandemic shutdown, the food pantry has remained open and has played a crucial role in helping families in the community, and remains ready to assist in emergency situations. The food pantry is self-funded and dependent on companies and individuals who contribute to their efforts through their generosity and fundraising activities.
On February 13, a fire broke out at River North Village Apartments in Mount Clemens that destroyed the building and left the residents without food and shelter. Chapter 154 answered the call from the city of Mount Clemens and assisted the Red Cross and the Good Shephard Coalition by providing canned goods, fresh fruit, cereal, milk, and various snack foods. This was an opportunity for volunteers from the Vet Center to help local residents in their time of need as they have done for military families over the years.
Please consider a donation today to help veterans in need.
Throughout the pandemic, the Vet Center has remained vigilant in accepting all distress calls from veterans suffering from health issues, financial stress, and badly needed home repair. This vital service often leads to improved health care, free tax services, and home repairs provided by the Michigan Veterans Trust Fund. Support and assistance are provided by chapter members in many heartfelt ways, doing whatever is necessary to bring some relief to families in need.
A smile came to my face hearing Gary describe a nice gesture performed by chapter members when they found out a veteran’s flag pole was all shot up by vandals. So, when the veteran was away from his house for a spell Gary and a few members from the chapter did what needed to be done. They sanded and painted the flag pole and raised a new American flag and US Navy flag. Does that really surprise anyone? I didn’t think so.
I told Gary that each time I speak to him I hear his commitment to helping others in his community, which I know is shared by all the officers and associates of Chapter 154. The desire to help is energizing and it makes it very easy for me to ask others to consider making a contribution to this worthy and necessary organization.
Please check out the Boo Coo Newsletter on the website for things of interest and upcoming activities.
The Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 154 Veteran’s Support Center
National Vietnam War Veterans Day-March 29, 2021
Join the Nation…Thank a Vietnam Veteran
For Service to our Nation
Importantly, mark your calendar to join Chapter 154 at Freedom Hill County Park, Sterling Heights, Michigan on Memorial Day, May 31, 2021.
18025 E 15 Mile Road Clinton Township, MI 48035 Phone: 586-776-9810 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Kids Empowered On the Move
Final push to sponsor families for the upcoming Easter Program. One hundred and ten families are sponsored so far. Kimber Bishop-Yanke is organizing this event and would like to expand it to 225 families, with your help. Setting big goals is nothing new to Kimber and her team of fantastic volunteers. Supporters can create the baskets and deliver them to the family directly. Or, you can create the baskets and drop them off to a volunteer in Birmingham who will deliver the baskets. Importantly, you can also make a donation to have volunteers create baskets and deliver them. I don’t think there is any excuse not to get involved.
To donate or sponsor Easter Baskets, visit the website: https://kidsempoweredonthemove.org/
Book Buddy Program
Kids living in poverty often struggle with reading for many reasons but COVID has made the problem worse. Kids Empowered On the Move is pairing volunteers with children who need practice reading. Every six weeks new books are provided to the student and their book buddies along with small enticements. The first six books the child receives also come with new PJs and hot chocolate. For the second six books, the child receives a bag of Legos. If you would like to support the Book Buddy program sign up at here: You can also make a donation to buy the books! Thanks for your help.
John Prine Remembered
Several months ago one of my friends commented that they were surprised I hadn’t provided a video from one of my favorite recording artists. As I talked to Gary Purcell of Chapter 154, I knew now was the time to provide a nice little video of John Prine, republished by Austin City Limits. John died of COVID complications last year but left the world a ton of great songs and albums to remember him by. I can tell you whenever I need a little lift, a John Prine song usually brings a smile to my face.