H.A.R.R.Y highlights local veterans

H.A.R.R.Y Veterans Community Outreach Services distributed dozens of gift bags to local Veterans on Saturday, Nov. 10.

H.A.R.R.Y highlights local veterans
November 15
08:31 2018

On Saturday, Nov. 10, supporters and volunteers at H.A.R.R.Y Veterans Community Outreach Services did their part to give thanks to the men and women who served in the various branches of the military during their annual Veterans Day Celebration.

Following the Veterans Day Parade held downtown, dozens of veterans made their way to the H.A.R.R.Y headquarters on Peter’s Creek Parkway where they were treated to food and gift bags. The bags included several items such as blankets, first aid kits, socks, shoes, clothes, alarm clocks, notebooks and much more.

Founded in 2008 to honor the life and legacy of ex-Marine Harry Smith, H.A.R.R.Y is one of the few organizations in the area designed to advocate for the wellbeing of veterans. The mission of the nonprofit organization is to provide a network that is responsive to the health, social, and economic wellbeing of veterans and their families.

As the Veterans filed into the building, they were greeted by smiling faces from people who took the day off to give back. Many of the volunteers were from veteran’s families who understand the plight of many of the men and women they were greeting.

“This organization has been a godsend because it gives us an opportunity to do something meaningful,” said Cynthia Bradshaw, whose husband, James, served in the U.S. Army.

Bradshaw, who lost her husband about a year ago, said she didn’t even know organizations like H.A.R.R.Y existed and when she found out about it through a neighbor, she immediately jumped at the opportunity to get involved. She said, “This organization is giving back to those who actually fought for us and for me to be a part of that, I just love it.”

Jamie Transou, who has been a volunteer at H.A.R.R.Y for a few years and recently lost her brother, Army veteran Harry Transou, said she decided to come on Saturday to honor his memory.

“It has just been a blessing that I’m able to come and help. My brother was a big volunteer and in some ways I’m here today to honor him,” said Transou. “Knowing that they served just like I did coming here today was no problem.”

When asked what Veterans Day meant to her, retired Army Major Katherine Austin-Bohanon said the day is about remembering veterans who paid the ultimate sacrifice to protect our county and uplifting those who are still with us. She said she is thankful for organizations like H.A.R.R.Y who try to “restore” veterans in any way they can.

“To me Veterans Day is about celebrating those who paid the ultimate sacrifice to protect our country,” she continued. “… It hurts me so much to see veterans who are broken and in a state of despair. It takes organizations like H.A.R.R.Y to help restore them.”

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Tevin Stinson

Tevin Stinson

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