Helping local veterans in need


William S. Tribell | Daily News Vets Serving Vets Commander Doug Bayless conducts a raffle organized by a local citizens group, the Christ Avengers, with items donated by many local businesses. The benefit raised $1,635 for VSV to continue their work.

Summer is always the busiest time of the year for Vets Serving Vets. This year is no different and the group has been hard at it raising money for all their projects in the community.

VSV first organized in November of 2013 while local vets helped with the traveling Vietnam Memorial Wall set up in Middlesboro.

“We are a group special to Middlesboro,” said VSV member Chad Shannon. “All the donations go to our operational budget and all our labor is volunteer. There is no limit to what we do for our veterans.”

The organization funds itself through fundraisers and T-shirt sales. They use the money raised to help local veterans. This past weekend they built a set of steps and a porch for a World War II vet in need.

Their most recent fundraiser was held by a group called the Christ Avengers. VSV sold T-shirts and bologna sandwiches and the Christ Avengers organized a raffle with items donated by many local businesses. The benefit raised $1,635 for VSV to continue their work.

“This group of citizens, the Christ Avengers, heard me say everyone should do something to help a vet during a radio program I was on and they contacted us and said the Lord had put it on their hearts to do something for the veterans,” said VSV Commander Doug Bayless. “They had never done anything like this and didn’t know where to start but they did a great job organizing the event.”

Anyone with honorable discharge papers can join the club. Those interested in joining can come to monthly meetings and donate their time to VSV projects.

“This organization helps veterans directly in many different ways,” said VSV member Gary Mays. “Vets Serving Vets builds ramps and handicap accesses and sometimes with the basic necessities of life when a vet is down. If anyone knows a vet in need, pass the word, this organization can help.”

For more information on VSV and what you can do to help, visit their Facebook page Vets Serving Vets or call (606) 346-0878.

Reach William Tribell at (606) 302-9100 or on Twitter @wtribellmdn

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