Some twenty-two million veterans live in our communities. The Elks National President, Malcolm J. McPherson Jr., has proclaimed November is Veterans Remembrance Month as a way to encourage us to find local veterans and help them with their needs.
“Elks volunteers provide direct service to Veterans in more than 330 VA Medical Centers, State Veterans Homes, Vets Centers and other Veterans facilities each month,” said McPherson Jr.
“The closest Veterans Home to Perry is located in Marshalltown,” said Perry Elks Lodge #407 Exalted Ruler, Chad Morman.
“Through our grants to Elks Lodges, we connect directly with Veterans and military members in their communities, providing them with services where they live. We help Veterans rehabilitate and thrive by sponsoring and volunteering at 5 adaptive sports programs each year, and provide recovering veterans with therapy kits and wheelchair gloves. Our Welcome Home initiative, a partnership with the VA at the national level, is reaching out to some of our most vulnerable veterans: those who are experiencing homelessness,” McPherson Jr. advised.
“To this end, the Elks have pledged $4 million dollars to help end Veteran Homelessness. Last year alone, the value of Elks’ contributions to the nation’s heroes provided more than $40 million to more than 323,573 Veterans served”, said McPherson Jr.
According to Morman, every Christmas Eve the members of Perry’s Elks Lodge #407 gather together at the Lodge on Willis Avenue and create Christmas baskets filled with items Veterans can use.
“The baskets are then delivered to area Veterans. It’s a very humbling experience and I, for one, am glad to participate,” said Morman.
“Let us remember to thank our Veterans and to show our appreciation in some special way every day, not just in November. And, should you see a member of our Armed Services in uniform, please march right up to him or her and say: ‘Thank you for your service. Have a great day!’ It is the least we can do,” McPherson Jr. said.
Want to join in their service to Veterans? There are more than 1,900 Elks Lodges across the country with a total membership nearing 800,000. Morman said “I joined the Elks because of their contributions to Veterans, and youth too. Being a Veteran myself, I believe it is very important to take care of those who have sacrificed so much to defend this country”.
Elks’ members must be American citizens who are at least 21 years of age and must believe in God.
“To learn more about being a member of Perry’s Lodge and helping Veterans, contact me at 515-465-3791”, said Morman. Or visit www.elks.org.