Martinsburg VA Medical Center
12th Annual Sweats for Vets Event
Winter in West Virginia can be brutally cold, but thanks to the Knights of Columbus of Loudon County Sweats for Vets event, inpatient Veterans at the Martinsburg VA Medical Center will be able to stay a little warmer.
Over the past several months the Knights of Columbus, area businesses and Veterans Service Organizations, such as the VFW, Military Order of the Cooties and the Ancient Order of Hibernians, banded together to collect sweat suit donations. On Saturday, Jan. 12, 41 volunteers handed out over 330 sweat suits, socks and toiletries to inpatient and domiciliary residents at the medical center.
U.S. Army Veteran Roy Bolden was completely surprised by the event. “When I first heard about Sweats for Vets I was expecting to walk into a room and find a workout routine going on. Instead, I was greeted with a smile, a handshake and a sweat suit,” said Bolden. “With all the awesome things happening at this medical center nothing should surprise me but it still does!”
For some Veterans, such as those in the homeless program, also called GOALS, the sweat suits, socks and toiletries are sometimes all they have. One Veteran exiting the donation line was overheard exclaiming, “This is such a blessing. I don’t have much stuff here.”
For other Veterans like U.S. Army Veteran Michael Suggs, who is also a VFW member, it is a much-needed morale booster. “I am thankful for this program and for the VFW,” said Suggs. “It’s things like this that let you know people care about you and your well-being.”
This is the 12th year that the Knights of Columbus has hosted a Sweats for Vets event at the medical center and over the years more than 7,000 sets of sweat suits have been distributed and over 640 volunteers have participated. A total of 570 sets of sweats and over $1,900 were donated to Veterans this year. The remaining sweat suits are provided to Veterans who may be in need throughout the rest of the year.
For more information on how you can help Veterans, contact the Voluntary Service Office at 304-263-0811, ext. 3309.