In the Payne County, Oklahoma Area there are numerous veterans confined to their homes or assisted living facilities. Many of these veterans do not have living relatives and those that do are often geographically isolated. With this in mind, we at the Stillwater OESC Workforce Center and in conjunction with, the American Legion Donaldson/Walker Post 108 in Cushing, Oklahoma have created a program called “The Payne County Forgotten Warriors Program.”
The Forgotten Warriors Program addresses the isolation and loneliness, of the disabled and/or ill veteran’s experience. This program also allows us to address and resolve issues we discover during our interaction with individual veterans and their needs.
During the years 2008 – 2010 we assisted an average of 40 veterans per year, primarily in the Cushing and Stillwater assisted living facilities. We identified 51 veterans in six Rest Homes in the 2011 year. We also made some home visits with information provided by the area rest homes personnel.
During the holidays each year, the program concentrates on those home bound veterans by providing each with a gift card and gift box containing a blanket with their respective Branch of Service and numerous items from the local Military Recruiters, Army, Navy, Marine Corps, and Air Force, and also gifts from the local business community.
At the rest homes, we make prior arrangements with the nursing staff, we request the Veterans gather in a common room with all other residents and available staff be present to witness and share in the presentations. If they are unable to be present we visit with them one-on-one in their room. One cannot describe the joy and patriotism these veterans feel when their name is called and presented with their gifts and the recognition of being called out for their service to our country.
This program is totally funded by charitable sponsors/businesses most of which are veteran owned or operated.