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Veterans help people in need

Pike County Chapter 20 Disabled American Veterans announced the winners of the chapter’s drawing for cash on Tuesday.

Jerry Trotter, chapter commander, said three winners were awarded a total of $900 in the chapter’s fundraising project. The big winner was Maj. Dick Jordan of Ozark, who took home $500. Al Johnson got the $300 cash prize and Pat Wingard, the $100 prize. Johnson and Wingard are both from Troy.

“Chapter 20 DAV raised $2,450 through the fundraiser and, of course, we’ll have to take out the expenses but it was a good fundraiser for us. The funds will allow us to help some people in need during the holidays and we’ll be able to bank a little of the money. We are hoping to one day have a building of our own where we can meet and do business. Right now, the Colley Senior Complex is generous in the use of its facility but we really need a place of our own.”

Chapter 20 has 94 members with 18 of them actively involved in the activities and events of the veterans’ organization.

“We’re a chapter of the Disabled American Veterans but we have an associate chapter that includes spouses and others who are not disabled veterans but want to support our cause,” Trotter said.

The “cause” of the local DAV is to provide information to disabled veterans about the benefits that are available to them and due them and to follow through with the application process to the point of representing them at the board hearing.

“Often disabled veterans are not aware of the benefits that they are entitled to and don’t know how to go about applying for them,” Trotter said. “Several members of Chapter 20 have received training in those areas and are able to advise them.”

Trotter, who served in the Marine Corps from 1980-85, was injured in a training accident.

“The Corps requires the highest level of performance from its Marines, as do the other branches’ special forces,” he said. “There’s danger involved in all levels of military training and many disabled veterans were injured during training.”

Trotter said more than 27,000 soldiers have been injured during and following the war in Iraq, many of those in non-combative incidents.

“When these men and women come home, the DAV is standing ready to assist them,” he said. “The DAV in Pike County is ready to help our veterans once they come home and not just those who are disabled. We’ll do all we can to help any veteran. We want them to know the rights that they have and the benefits they are due.”

Chapter 20 of the DAV was organized in 1921 and continues to play an active role in veterans’ activities and events in Pike County. Chapter 20 meets at 6 p.m. on the second Monday of the month downstairs at the Colley Senior Complex.

New members and visitors are always welcome to attend.