DAV sets “forget-me-not” drive

Published 9:50 am Monday, October 27, 2014

Photo by Brandon Hicks For more photos visit www.elizabethton.com

Each year around Veterans Day, one charitable organization works to make sure those who gave of themselves in service to their country don’t become forgotten heroes.
As part of their fundraising efforts, members of the Disabled American Veterans organization conduct a Forget-Me-Not drive. The veterans set up outside local businesses handing out the small purple flowers and accepting donations.
The DAV is a non-profit organization, and Sam Rogers, commander of DAV Chapter 17 in Elizabethton, said the group receives no government funding. “Our donations are the only funds we receive,” said Rogers, an Army combat veteran of the wars in Vietnam and Iraq. “All of our money comes from fundraisers.”
“All of the funds that are collected are used for veterans programs,” Rogers said, adding funds given to the local chapter stay in the community to help local veterans.
One of the things sponsored by the organization are a Christmas part for veterans living in the nursing home at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Johnson City. Rogers said the group also provides hospital service coordinators for the VA hospital.
But, Rogers said, the group also helps veterans on a personal level as well. “If a veteran needs assistance with a light bill or a water bill we have helped to pay those before too,” he said.
The DAV also helps support other local veterans groups as well, such as the Honor Guard, and in the past has worked with local homeless shelter operations.
This year’s Forget-Me-Not event will be held on Nov. 7-8. Locally, members of the DAV will be at the Elizabethton Wal-Mart and other locations throughout the city.
To kick off awareness for the annual event, Rogers and fellow DAV member Harold Hubbard visited Carter County Mayor Leon Humphrey and pinned a Forget-Me-Not to the lapel of his jacket. Hubbar, who serves as senior vice commander of DAV Chapter 17, is a combat Army veteran of WWII, having served in northern Italy.
“These veterans have given us so much and this is one way the community can give back,” Humphrey said. “I encourage everyone to support this fundraiser and these veterans.”
Those wishing to make a donation to the Elizabethton chapter of the DAV can send their donation to Rogers at 1601 Scenic Drive, Elizabethton, TN 37643.

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