Serving Those Who've Served All
Marty Sanders, Director of Development
We have much to be thankful for when thinking about our veterans. We know we do not understand the depth of sacrifice our veterans and their families make so that our freedoms and liberties are protected.
We well-equip our service men and women for what they must do when on the battlefield or in roles to support those on the battlefield. We are not skilled at the assimilation of veterans back into society when their tour of duty is completed. Our civilian systems are not suited for those who have experienced and witnessed war, the life and death events that our service men and women encounter. We have added to our vocabulary acronyms like IEDs, TBI, and PSTD. We know what these labels are, but we cannot grasp the emotional and physical scars that are endured by those who have experienced them.
We have read the stories, and heard the reports about how our VA system has been taxed in the care of our veterans. We have a crisis caring for our veterans. One crisis that looms with less media exposure is the homelessness that our Iraqi and Afghanistan veterans experience. The tough job market coupled with TBI and PTSD make assimilation and maintaining housing difficult for many.
In summer of 2013, the VA asked The Salvation Army of Greater Charlotte to be a part of their campaign to end veteran homelessness by 2016. With great joy, we were approved as a referral site by VA for veteran men or women, especially those with children. We provide food and lodging, and work with the VA to provide the necessary social supports these men and women need to move back into society prepared to succeed in a civilian world.
Our ability to serve veterans has been encouraged and supported by companies like Wells Fargo and Home Depot. They renovated a wing of Center of Hope to meet the requirements of the VA and provide adequate space our veterans need. Golden Corral provided meals for our veterans as they were temporally housed off site so that the renovations could be completed. There have been scores of volunteers who have provided necessary items so that this program can thrive.
On behalf of the veterans who are at our Center of Hope this Veterans Day – please know we appreciate you and the service you have given our country. Also, we are privileged to serve you and pray God’s blessing on you and your family this Veterans Day.