Local VFWs retain brothers-in-arms ethos through relief program

7 Jun 2010 | Lance Cpl. Jonathan G. Wright

When Marines are deployed overseas, their tours can last anywhere from a few months to a year or more. With that, many Marine spouses are left to deal with an empty house or sometimes the stresses of being an expectant mother alone.

However, the service members and veterans at the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9133 – Jacksonville, N.C. Chapter, ensures no spouse is left without friendly neighbors to assist in whatever task may need doing.

“Marines are deployed overseas to a war - they already have enough to deal with,” said Gunnery Sgt. Aaron Franklin, enlisted air crew chief with Marine Medium Tiltrotor Squadron 264, 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing aboard Marine Corps Air Station New River. “They shouldn’t have to be worrying whether or not their spouses are able to cope at home without them.”

Through the post service officer, veterans or service members’ spouses are able to apply to the relief program, and after a screening process to validate the priority of the requested aid, the post will either assist or refer them to another one of 17 veteran organizations in Onslow County which may offer more help.

“In the last three years, we’ve done such things as build three handicap ramps and assist on seven or eight occasions to take individuals to medical appointments,” said Timothy Stone, commander of VFW Post 9133.

The ethos of every VFW in the country is helping out those individuals who they can identify with: active and retired service members and their families. A special breed apart, veterans help each other out, even if they have never met before. Stone said that the ‘been there, done that’ look in their eyes is all it takes.

“It may be a task as simple as cutting the grass for a deployed service members’ wife who is nine months pregnant,” said Franklin. “But it’s the fact that these people help out others and do not expect anything in return. That’s what the VFW is all about.”

A military spouse is just as important as the service member they are married to, and a veteran is not just a military retiree, but a reminder of the sacrifices the men and women in uniform make. Men and women of the various VFWs throughout the Onslow County regions have taken it upon themselves to help and support those who aid in the community every day.

For more information about the relief program and applicability, contact the VFW Post 9133 at 353-6810.