Biddeford AMVETS Post 1 reaches out to veterans during COVID-19 stand done

To the editor,

Two weeks after AMVETS Post 1 closed due to Coronavirus spread, six post officers volunteered to call all Post 1 veterans. The purpose of the call was to ask about their well-being as well as to offer them non-cash assistance such as picking up and delivering their prescriptions, light groceries, etc.

A membership spreadsheet downloaded from National listed Post 1 as having 128 members in good standing with their addresses and phone numbers. Our six volunteers divided the list and set about calling every number.

Either by phone, social media, or personal knowledge, we were able to communicate with 90 members. Another 29 either had changed or dropped their land lines and were unreachable.

While the initial purpose was to provide assistance when and where we could, it soon became apparent that it was the callers whom benefitted and came away with a renewed appreciation for our comrades.

Without exception, every veteran contacted was very appreciative that we made an effort and took time to check on them. As one veteran put it, “I’m a member of AMVETS, Legion, and VFW, along with the Eagles and Nights; not one of them has called to check on me. You guys are the only one that talks the walk.”

Our lesson: Not surprisingly, we learned that many veterans are self-sufficient; they’re ready and capable of caring for themselves at home. What they DO appreciate is hearing another Veteran’s friendly voice asking how they are doing.

We’re all in this together is more than words.

Gene Foster, Adjutant

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