In the middle of a pandemic where communities have been isolated to adhere to social distancing in the interest of public safety and unemployment is rivaling that of the Great Depression, veterans and their families are struggling and Miller County VFW Post No. 2442 is standing by ready to help.

The Miller County VFW is on a mission.  

In the middle of a pandemic where communities have been isolated to adhere to social distancing in the interest of public safety and unemployment is rivaling that of the Great Depression, veterans and their families are struggling and Miller County VFW Post No. 2442 is standing by ready to help. 

The post announced in a press release that it has authorized the spending of up to $20,000 over the next six months to aid veterans who need assistance as a result of unemployment. The Post will be set up in the parking lot of Old Navy on Saturday in Prewitt’s Point shopping center, next to Target in Osage Beach, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. to allow veterans who need assistance to visit with post representatives. 

“With this quarantine and the stay-at-home orders, it is really hard to find veterans in need because everyone is staying at home,” Miller County VFW Post Commander John Morlock noted, also understanding the need to protect the health of workers and the public. “Isolation is one problem veterans with PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) have and this is the perfect excuse to do that. I would encourage everyone in the community, if you know a veteran in your area, give them a call and see how they are doing and engage them in conversation.” 

That is one of the primary reasons the post will be there on Saturday, in addition to providing financial assistance. Morlock, who also started the Hero’s Outreach Program to help stop veterans from committing suicide, said the pandemic has resulted in an increase in suicides and suicide attempts across the country and it has also stopped the Hero’s Outreach Program. So, the community making contact can make a world of difference.   

“Even if it is just over the phone or over the fence, get together adhering to social distancing. Just anything to get veterans who tend to isolate to do some social interaction,” Morlock said.  

“If veterans are in need, we won’t turn veterans away. Invite anyone who knows any veteran who needs help to please help get them there on Saturday.” 

A Veteran Service Officer will be available to address any questions veterans may have regarding VA claims or to help file new paper work for a claim. The Missouri State VFW Commander will also be present. Veterans who need assistance are encouraged to visit the VFW Post No. 2442 and bring any paperwork necessary to show the need for assistance. Morlock said the post also plans to have electric bill vouchers to assist any veterans who may be falling behind on their bills and is also looking into buying food for veterans in need as well. 

To qualify to receive financial assistance, veterans must prove veteran status by presenting a DD Form 214 Military Service Release Document or a valid military ID card or VA ID card. 

There will be a barbecue grill set up as the post sells hotdogs, hamburgers and brats to assist with the cost of aiding veterans.The Miller County VFW recently sold its physical post and property at the end of last year and the organization intends to buy another post down the road that is smaller and easier to maintain. 

Morlock said any donations the community can provide will assist with the goal of purchasing a new post and none of the $20,000 allocated to help veterans will be used in buying the new post. The Miller County VFW plans to have events like the one on Saturday at least once a month for the next six months, but Morlock is also not sure if the allocated funds will last for that duration. 

In simple terms, the more donations the post receives, the more assistance it can provide to veterans in the months to come. 

“We encourage the community to donate what they can afford to the VFW so we can help put some of that money back in our account to buy a new post. The amount of funds we have directly determines how many veterans we can help,” the Miller County VFW Post Commander said. 

“If there are businesses or individuals who have the means, if they can see themselves donating, we certainly appreciate the donations.” 

To donate or assist the Miller County VFW, call Post Commander John Morlock at 573-723-3113 or 573-280-3240.