Salute the Troops, a Fond du Lac-based Veterans organization, raised $900 in support of a World War II Veteran in need this winter.
"The County Veterans Service Officer contacted me and told me about this Veteran in need," said Dan Manning, executive director of Salute the Troops, "and we wanted to help out."
Stephanie Barbuch, Salute the Troops treasurer, said the response from the community was truly inspiring. "Within hours of our e-mail going out to supporters, donations started flowing in," Barbuch said. "We received donations from Georgia, New York, Minnesota, and even as far away as California. I'm humbled by their generosity."
Manning noted that Salute the Troops was founded to support local Veterans, "With winter upon us, I can't think of a more pressing need right now than heat. I'm glad we could help a member of the "Greatest Generation" and we are excited about the programs we are working on for the Veterans in Fond du Lac."
Salute the Troops is developing programs and services, starting with monthly support group meetings for veterans and family members who may need someone to listen.
"Support groups are a great way for people to share their emotional experiences in a safe setting to help heal the wounds of combat," psychotherapist Meghan Cole, mental health advisor to Salute the Troops, explained. "It's easy to see those that have been physically wounded by war, but the psychological wounds are sometimes invisible and troops can be reluctant to share their experiences unless they are talking to others they feel really understand."
"We are always looking for opportunities to help veterans in our community," Manning stated, "but we're not always aware of the needs. We encourage Veterans to contact us with suggestions for services or if they need help. That's why we're here."
Salute the Troops is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization with a mission of enabling veterans to live full and independent lives by providing resources to empower them to overcome the physical and mental wounds of war. More information and volunteer opportunities are available at www.SaluteTheTroopsWI.org