The local VFW Post wants to continue a tradition started two years ago -- an event that not only honors disabled veterans but also offers them and their families a vacation at the Lake of the Ozarks.

The local VFW Post wants to continue a tradition started two years ago -- an event that not only honors disabled veterans but also offers them and their families a vacation at the Lake of the Ozarks.

The third annual Veterans Helping Disabled Veterans will be held May 17-21 based at Lands End Condominiums in Osage Beach. VFW Post 6514 of Osage Beach created the event with the help of Lands End Condo owners Carolyn LaReau of Carolyn's Condos and veteran Dennis Ruby, also a member of the local VFW post.

Together, they have arranged the use of 20 condos for 20 disabled veterans and their families next May.

"We want to make a difference in the VFW community," Ruby said. "And to let their families know they're important as well. This is an opportunity for fun, entertainment and meals at no costs to honor our disabled veterans, many of whom may not be able to do so because of their disabilities."

Many injured veterans have seen their lifestyles change, their income abilities have changed and now face various challenges, Ruby noted. The getaway at the Lake of the Ozarks is one way to show an appreciation for their sacrifices, he said.

There are an estimated 500,000 veterans in Missouri, and 75 percent of those have served in combat. Among these combat veterans, it's estimated that 90 percent are either physically or mentally disabled from their time in service.

Ruby said the Veterans Helping Disabled Veterans weekend will be busy. There will be a welcome barbecue at Lands End Thursday, May 17. A dinner cruise on The Celebration is scheduled Friday and individual boat rides around the lake are scheduled Saturday.

A catered dinner and live entertainment are planned Saturday evening. Lunch opportunities for Friday and Saturday will also be available. All condos will be stocked with breakfast foods, beverages and snacks.

That's where the public's help is needed.

Major supporters of the event include Hy-Vee, Celebration Cruises, Wobbly Boots, JJ Twigs, RedHead Yacht Club, Li'l Rizzos, the Marine Corps League and Get Air Trampoline Park. Each business has stepped forward by donating food, beverages, meals, and activities.

"In order for this event to be a success, we need support from our community and this is a great opportunity for area businesses and residents to show their support," Ruby explained.

Donations can be made in the form of money or contributions of services or items. Checks can be sent to Veterans Helping Disabled Veterans (VHDV), Dennis Ruby, 1205 Lands End Parkway, Unit 533, Osage Beach, MO 65065. Any business or individual wanting to donate services or items can call Ruby at 314-691-9775.