• 52°

Honoring, helping veterans

The Giving Back to Veterans Day event went on despite a little rainfall on Thursday.

Resource tables were set up under the pavilion at Ironton Farmers Market Square and under tents in the adjacent parking lot.

A good number of people came to check out what was available to them, get a quick check up of their blood pressure or blood sugar and maybe get their nails done by students from the cosmetology program at Collins Career Technical Center.

Jerry Lambert, a United States Marine Corps veteran, was there as part of the DAV and decided to have his blood pressure checked at the CCTC medical table.

“I’m here today to help support veterans of the county,” he said. “And it’s always good to have your blood pressure checked.”

He was in the USMC from 1975-1979 and 1981-1988. He was an E-5 sergeant and served as a combat engineer and as a teletype technician. He is now the DAV commander for Lawrence County and president of the board of the Lawrence County Veterans Services commission.

“I think this event was a good thing,” Lambert said. “I wish the weather was a little better. But anytime we can recognize local veterans and help the different veterans’ causes, it helps them out.”

Kim Maynard, RN, helped organize the event and said she was happy with the number of veterans and veterans’ resource people who showed up.

“Despite the rain, we had more people and resource people show up, so, I am very pleased,” she said. “I hope what our veterans take away from this is that they are appreciated and to gain some knowledge of the resources that are available out there. And we just want them to enjoy the day and the food.”

VFW Post 8850 Honor Guard came in to perform a flag ceremony and a 21-gun salute in honor of fallen veterans.

Lawrence County Veterans Services officer Tim Carpenter was at the event and liked that it brought many of the services that are available to veterans to one spot.

“The VA has six tables here, representing different branches of the VA. We have the educational counselor from Ohio University Southern here,” he said. “This just opens up them up to all the benefits that are available to them. My goal is to link as many veterans as I can with a benefits they are entitled to.”

One case in point was a homeless veteran who attended the event. Carpenter was there with a homeless coordinator and they ran into a homeless couple and talked to them about their situation.

“She has already left with them and to try to get them into a shelter tonight and then she can work with them on housing,” Carpenter said. “This is what we do, helping veterans find what they need.”

Carpenter said, that in many cases, the information is passed by word of mouth.

“A veteran may come here and find out about something, it may not benefit them but they may know a veteran it can benefit,” he said.

Maynard received a proclamation from Ironton Mayor Katrina Keith for hosting the event.

There was music played by James Cazad to keep people entertained as they ate hot dogs, beans and cornbread.

Maynard said that she wants to do the Giving Back to Veterans Day event again next year.

“I’ve been contacted by different people and more organizations wanting to be a part of it and grow it even bigger,” she said.