‘Helmets for Vets’ helping veterans at the VA

Latest example of community outreach for vets

PLAINS TOWNSHIP, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) – Men and women who’ve served our country are publicly thanked each May and November on Military Appreciation Day and Veterans’ Day.

But that appreciation is often shown year-round in northeastern Pennsylvania thanks to community outreach. Eyewitness News Reporter Mark Hiller explains the value behind it.

As the Wilkes-Barre Area Wolfpack was earning its first victory of the season on its home field August 30, another “win” was happening off it. Paul Auker was selling raffle tickets for what’s billed as “Helmets For Vets”. Wilkes-Barre Area School District teamed up with the NEPA Labor Day Committee to auction off helmets from the former Coughlin, GAR and Meyers Football Teams as well as the new Wolfpack helmet.

“It will be signed by all the players,” said Mr. Auker who is treasurer of NEPA Labor Day Committee.

Proceeds from the helmet raffle will benefit veterans at the Wilkes-Barre VA Medical Center. Mr. Auker said, “They put out their lives, you know, that most of them are in wheelchairs that we deal with, you know, and very few of them are walking or ambulatory. Yeah, I mean we’re there for them.”

Wilkes-Barre VA Medical Center Chief of Voluntary Service Debra Schlosser added, “We are very blessed in our area here to have a very strong veteran community and they have a real affinity for our patients here.”

Helmets for Vets is just one example of community outreach to benefit vets at the VA. That outreach helps provide everything from toiletries and trips to even the land on which the VA has existed now for some seven decades. It also helps fund the wildly popular VA’s Creative Arts Competition for vets along with picnics, parties and holiday events.

Ms. Schlosser said, “They help with providing funds for a variety of activities for veterans that we’re not able to use appropriated funds for.” Letting men and women who served know that the community is always there for them just as they were always there for us.

Helmets For Vets raffle tickets will be sold at all of the Wilkes-Barre Area Wolfpack home football games. They’re also available at Coughlin, GAR and Meyers High Schools and through the NEPA Labor Day Committee. The helmets will be auctioned off at the Wolfpack’s final home game October 18.

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