January Makana Pono
Posted on January 7, 2021
Veterans sacrifice so much, yet some don't obtain the proper tools or support after their service ends. Some veterans don't even know about the available resources, and sadly, many end up falling through the cracks. "We have veterans who walk among us, and some are in receipt of hospice care, yet others never receive resources or benefits to show their life matters," explained Islands Hospice Spiritual Care Provider Paul Patterson.
As a veteran himself, and a member of the Disabled American Veterans (DAV), Paul understands just how valuable nonprofits can be to help cut heroes and families cut through the red tape to obtain the benefits and resources owed. He selected DAV to receive his $5,000 Makana Pono contribution.
Applying to obtain veteran's benefits owed can be cumbersome, and the COVID-19 pandemic has not helped. The DAV assists veterans with filing claims and also provides rides to vets attending medical appointments. With one million members and nearly 1300 local chapters, the DAV is committed to empowering our nation's heroes from all generations and helping those with service-connected disabilities live their lives with dignity and respect. DAV is also a leader in connecting veterans with meaningful employment.
Most of all, the DAV ensures that veterans and families don't have to navigate these challenges alone. Paul says that we can all help by doing simple things to show our veterans our appreciation, like engaging in friendly conversation. "Let them know that service to their country is important. Thank them for fighting for our country's freedom and way of life. Listen to a story or two about the history and some of its costs. Salute, shake their hand, or give an "air hug" or elbow bump. It helps them feel appreciated and not so lost."
The DAV provides all their services to veterans free of charge. The organization also receives no government funding, making donations like Paul's even more critical to helping the DAV carry out its vital mission.