The Coffee County Veterans Association provides a local partnership among the local chapters of the DAV, American Legion and the VFW.
Commander of Manchester’s VFW Post 10904, Kimberly A. King explains each of the groups that call the Veterans Building, 130 Shelton Rd. home.
“As all veterans as a whole once ‘served our country,’ the organizations allow us to continue to serve our community. The CCVA, which is all three of our organizations, provide all of the patriotic events for the county. These being the ceremonies for Vietnam Veterans Day, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, Patriot’s Day, Flag Day and others,” King said.
Disabled American Veterans
The Disabled American Veterans (DAV) is an organization where you have to have a disability rating to qualify to be a member. This is the smallest organization of the three in the Coffee County Veterans Association (CCVA).
The DAV aims to help any disabled veterans with whatever needs they have. Howard Thompson is the Commander.
The American Legion is open to all honorably discharged veterans. They are the largest group as it is the easiest to qualify. They have a variety of programs like Boys State, and programs for students, schools and veterans. There is a sub-group called the American Legion Riders. They all ride motorcycles as a group for comradery and/or for causes. The Legion has over 200 members. Don Purinton is the Commander.
Veterans of Foreign Wars
The Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) is the hardest to qualify in. “You had to have served overseas, hence the term ‘Foreign,’ and to have served in what was declared a war zone or to have received hostile fire or imminent danger pay,” explained King
“We have around 125 members in the Post and we are the most active group as we have many programs for teachers, students and many for veterans. I am the Commander of the local VFW,” she said.
“We are very active in the schools, talking to students, educating them on veterans, proper use and care of the American flag and answering their questions on our country and how it has survived so many wars. We also provide a music comedy program called ‘Operation Joy’ made of veterans and those who are in the organization auxiliaries. We do this seven times a month at a variety of Assisted Living Centers as well as the Veterans Retirement Home in Murfreesboro,” King said.
“The veterans I work are extremely dedicated to our country. They do what they can despite a wide variety of health issues and often they spend their own money and hours of time to raise funds for programs or organizations they feel need the help,” she added.
The VFW donates to Good Samaritan, Head Start, Wreaths Across America, schools, provides school supplies to dozens of teachers, helps students, assisted the Boy Scouts, Navy Cadets, JROTC, churches and so much more.
Members recognize and honor Vietnam Veterans, who were treated badly, as well as any widows of a Vietnam Veteran or any family member of a Vietnam Veteran whose name is on the Vietnam Wall in Washington D.C.
How you can join
The DAV meets the first Monday of the month. VFW meets the second Monday and the Am. Legion meets the third. The CCVA meets the last Monday of the month. All gatherings start at 6 p.m. with dinner, and meetings are at 7 p.m. at 130 Shelton Rd.
“I am very, very proud of all we do especially since it is 100% voluntary on the veteran’s part. No one asks for a thing but they are the quickest to help and to give, if asked, King said.