Members of Disabled American Veterans Washington County Chapter No. 9 came to the Salvation Army shelter Tuesday to present a flag flown over the U.S. Capitol for the new flagpole the chapter recently purchased for residents of the shelter’s transitional program for homeless veterans.
“They have a lot of veterans here. They do a great service. And that’s right in line with what we do,” DAV member Keith Jones said.
“We help them out and I came over about a year ago to see what they needed. They didn’t have a flagpole here. So ... we went over to the (Tennessee) Flag Co. and ordered them a flagpole.”
Scott Blevins, director of the Salvation Army Center of Hope, said the DAV chapter has been helping out at the Veterans Affairs Per Diem Transitional Shelter since the program’s inception at the center two years ago. The program works in partnership with Veterans Affairs Medical Center at Mountain Home to resolve health and financial issues that contribute to the homelessness of veterans who may remain in the program for up to years.
The center also provides a transitional shelter program for women and children, which Blevins said has worked out well for homeless veterans with wives and children who have been able to keep their families together as they work to get back on their feet.
Case Manager Joshua Reed said about half of the 105 veterans who have come through the program so far have made successful exits, moving on to homes of their own or to other VA programs.
“The flagpole is a great thing for the veterans that are staying here,” DAV Chapter Commander Paul Moody said. “And its a great thing that Keith had the vision for it.”
“Their veterans put it up,” Jones said. “Rolling Thunder Chapter 4 of Elizabethton gave them a MIA/POW flag and came over and did a flag ceremony for them ... and the flag we brought them today flew over the Capitol.”
To show their appreciation, the Salvation Army staff presented the DAV members with a plaque recognizing their gift that will be permanently installed at the base of the flagpole.