The holidays can be a lonely time for many people, especially those who do not have any living family.
One local organization is working to ensure that stateline-area veterans in nursing homes and assisted living facilities are remembered this Christmas season.
‘Veterans helping veterans’ is the goal of VietNow’s Christmas for Vets program.
“I lost my wife ten years ago, adn the last three years, I’ve been here now,” said 84-year-old Charles Reimer.
Reimer was an Army medic from 1958 to 1961. He’s just one of the nearly 1,400 veterans around the stateline receiving a warm holiday surprise from Christmas for Vets.
Pastor Bob Theroux helped start the program in Rockford seventeen years aog.
“I realized that these veterans…they said they had no family,” Theroux said. “Here it was, the week of Christmas. They had no gifts, no family, no nothing. I thought, this isn’t right. Something should be done.”
Over the years, the program has grown from just one senior living facility to more than fifty.
Marine Corps vet Marylee Haag says it’s nice to be remembered during the holidays.
“I had two step brothers in the Second World War and a lot of veterans in my family. It means a lot to know people care about veterans. To me, it means a lot,” she said.
All of the gifts for the veterans are donated, whether it be money to buy supplies, knitted items, or homemade cookies.