03 Oct 2013
- Written by Nicole Baskin/Special to The New Tri-State Defender
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Imagine giving of yourself in a faraway land, across time zones, languages and cultures. Upon return from duty you are now cloaked in layers of challenges that include homelessness, disabilities, lack of viable employment and skill sets. This is what countless war veterans face nationwide.
In Memphis alone there are over 2,000 displaced U.S. veterans equaling one third of the homeless population in the metro area.
Now picture an entity, a house of sorts with a welcome mat that lists everything the house encompasses. The components of the list are not all tangible but all are essential ingredients for being a whole, well-rounded member of society. Inside the house are education, stability, caring hearts, a comfortable place to rest and nourishment for your mind as well as your body.
The place where this microcosm resides is with the Alpha Omega Veterans Services, Inc.
What started as a grassroots effort in 1987 by a courageous mom of two veteran sons has blossomed into a program that provides 30-day to 2-year transitional housing, food, clothing and counseling for men and women war veterans. Participants in the program span various ages, wars, duties and challenges. No matter what branch served, the veterans' lives are woven together with the foundation of needing a clear path to be reintegrated into society.
Alpha Omega Veterans Services provides these services free of charge, on public and private donations.
Presented by title sponsors Harrah's Tunica and The Links at Cottonwood, the 501c3 nonprofit held its annual major fundraiser on Sept. 13. The event featured a golf tournament, banquet and silent/live auction. Over 18 golf teams enjoyed a great afternoon out on the course. Before heading out on the greenway, they enjoyed a wonderful lunch compliments of "The Dog and Slaw" and were provided goodie bags full of items donated by our great sponsors. And to top it off, brand new golf gloves were provided free of charge and shoes for a donation.
After enjoying their 18 holes of golf, many stayed to enjoy the top-class dinner and bid on many live and silent auction items. The golfers were happy to snag Southwest Airline Tickets and a full week Condo Stay deals to name just a few auction items that added to the proceeds.
Over $20,000 was raised at this year's event to provide program resources.
Just like the military equips our soldiers at home and abroad, veterans must also be properly equipped to be reintroduced and resocialized into society. Alpha Omega Veterans Services is a conduit to ensure these veterans all are on the road to wholeness, one hero at a time.
Join us next year and help make Memphis better by "Helping Veterans Help Themselves."
(For more information about Alpha Omega Veterans Services, contact the Executive Director Cordell Walker at 901-729-2345.)