Optimists learn about veteran support program

“If you serve, you deserve” is the motto of Columbia’s Operation Veterans Support, whose founder, Dr. Glen Brown, spoke to St. Andrews Optimists on July 14.

Providing clothing, food, job search support, and housing assistance, the organization places volunteers in the lives of military veterans during their times of need.  

Two factors combine to underline the need for the organization’s services: 

1. Information may vary slightly on the exact number, but it is generally accepted that roughly twenty veterans commit suicide every day.

2. Frequently, there are a host of services available to veterans who are unaware of them. 

Operation Veterans Support uses volunteers who are plugged into those services and who can counsel veterans on how to make their lives easier and more normalized. Presently, there are five persons on staff who are veterans themselves and who work every day connecting veterans to available resources.

Brown emphasized there never seems to be a letup in those needs. With Fort Jackson, Shaw Air Force Base, and the V.A. in the larger community, there is a substantial pool of potential clients.

Among the services provided are:

1. A food justice–oriented food bank to solve hunger issues

2. Carolina HealthChoice, which mobilizes a team of nurse practitioners to offer wellcare checkups, physical services, and diagnostic testing.

3. Pain management assistance that seeks and deploys non-narcotic solutions for chronic pain issues.

Carolina Veterans Support is always open to volunteering. Brown stressed if a candidate has the desire to help, there will surely be ways they can be put to effective use.

Pictured are Optimist Club President Larry Blosser, Dr. Glen Brown, and speaker sponsor Billy Colucci, who presented the speaker with a copy of the Optimist Creed.