Local veterans create organization to help other veterans

Last updated: June 03. 2014 6:41PM - 720 Views
By - acloud@civitasmedia.com



Ray Welch|Daily NewsA group of veterans work to build a ramp for a Vietnam veteran's wife on Monday. Those who participated in the effort included Dillard Barton, Doug Bayless, Wayne Bayless, Mike Marcum, J.D. Skidmore, Gary Mayes and Charles Martin.
Ray Welch|Daily NewsA group of veterans work to build a ramp for a Vietnam veteran's wife on Monday. Those who participated in the effort included Dillard Barton, Doug Bayless, Wayne Bayless, Mike Marcum, J.D. Skidmore, Gary Mayes and Charles Martin.
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A new organization has formed in Bell County to help those who’ve helped the United States since it has been a nation.


Vets Serving Vets (VSV) was organized in November after the idea was prompted while setting up the Vietnam Memorial Wall in Middlesboro.


VSV Commander Mike Marcum said the veterans decided they wanted to do something for the community.


“We’re just a group of veterans that help other veterans in the community,” said Marcum. “If a veteran needs something, we’re going to do our best do to do it for them.”


The organization is only funded through fundraisers and selling T-shirts. None of the five officers of the group is funded. Marcum said he placed that in the bylaws when he wrote them.


Recently, VSV sold T-shirts at the Kentucky Mountain Laurel Festival. The money earned from the fundraiser was used to build two ramps over the past week. One of the ramps was for a Vietnam veteran whose wife has cancer. The house the vet lives in is currently located near a creek and sits eight blocks off the ground. The organization built the ramp so the vet’s wife can get in and out of the house.


“We want to prove to the community that veterans can do in the community what they did on the battlefield,” said Marcum.


Marcum said VSV is unique to the area.


He said anyone with honorable discharge papers can join the club — no matter what race or gender. Those interested in joining can come to monthly meetings, held the second Thursday of each month. Meetings are held across from the Middlesboro Post Office behind the UMWA building.


Those interested can also contact Marcum at 248-4320 or 302-1667. He will provide details about the organization.


Annual dues are $40 a year, which goes toward building ramps and helping vets. A DD214 and proof of honorable discharge is required to join.


Anthony Cloud can be contacted at 606-302-9090 or on Twitter @AnthonyCloudMDN.

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