The Wapakoneta veterans organizations got together to host the fifth annual Christmas party for local disabled military veterans at the Wapakoneta V.F.W. post Friday.
“It is just a way of honoring veterans with special needs so they know they are not forgotten,” said Wanda Link, president of the Wapakoneta Amvets Ladies Auxiliary.
The program was started five years ago and has grown considerably. Attendees are clients from Mental Health Intensive Case Management, a division of the Veteran’s Administration in Dayton. The V.A. has a community-based outpatient clinic as a satellite in Lima.
“It is something special we have for the vets,” said Hilleary King, acting coordinator of Psycho-social Rehabilitation Programs for the V.A. “We try to do things to help them be involved as possible.”
King described the event as a social, laid back type of event. The vent started off with several of the veterans singing karaoke and then having lunch. The veterans were then given Christmas presents, including gift cards, and new coats. A special gift selected from a Christmas list submitted by each veteran was also given away. All of the gifts were donated from money raised from military organizations such as the V.F.W. and Amvets. Transportation to and from the event was provided by the Wapakoneta Eagles.
“Its something nice we can do for them,” said King. “It helps them to get out of the house a little.”
King said veterans served by their office have a variety of challenges, including post traumatic stress disorder, bipolar, depression, and a variety of medical problems as well.
“Our case managers work with the veterans to help them live as independent as possible,” she said. “They seem to look forward to it every year.”
The Wapakoneta American Legion donated and prepared all the food and cutlery for the event.