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The Henderson County HonorAir Committee in partnership with American Legion Post 77 of Henderson County is seeking donations for its annual Veterans Fund to help the Veterans Restoration Quarters and its job training programs, to buy winter clothing for veterans and to support the HonorAir program.
The fundraiser provides hats, gloves, clothing, sheets, towels, kitchen equipment and other items to the homeless veterans at the Veterans Restoration Quarters, operated by the Asheville/Buncombe Community Ministry. Honorably discharged veterans can live at the facilities for up to two years. Donations help fund job training in culinary skills, nursing and other trades. Donations also help HonorAir fly WWII veterans to the National World War II Memorial.
Here are stories of three veterans at the Veterans Restoration Quarters:
Mark Jackson, the father of a son and daughter, served 10 years in the Navy as a cook. He did two tours in Vietnam and received the Korean Ribbon. Jackson, 66, has battled substance abuse over the years but wanted a new beginning for his life of sobriety. After attending college, he moved to Atlanta and worked as a funeral director for 33 years. Mark said that he came to VRQ for a new focus and found his first love again in cooking. He is attending the culinary curriculum.
A native of New Orleans, Ozzy Lewis was raised in Rutherfordton. He served four tours in Iraq with the Marine Corps. He came to Asheville for surgeries and treatment for PTSD and was enrolled in the program at the Veterans Restoration Quarters. He says he came to the VRQ to rehabilitate himself and his life. He volunteers at the front desk and has enrolled in the truck-driving program.
Born and raised in Harlem, Anthony Colvin is a veteran of the Army infantry and father of four. After his discharge, he found himself homeless. Since coming to the VRQ he completed the Start Hospitality specialty program at the top of his class. He also completed the truck-driving school and received his CDL.
Questions about the annual campaign should be directed to Jeff Miller of HonorAir at 828-693-7426 or Kelley Freeman of Asheville Buncombe Community Christian Ministry of the Veterans Restoration Quarters at firstname.lastname@example.org or 828-678-0303. Checks should be made out to: American Legion Post 77 HonorAir Fund. Please note Christmas Fund and mail to HonorAir, 423 North King St., Hendersonville, NC 28792. Donations may be made at http://www.honorair.com/.
Information on veterans was provided by Asheville Buncombe Community Christian Ministry of the Veterans Restoration Quarters.