A key part to the care plan

An Aug. 21 Operation Comfort Warriors grant donation made along The American Legion Legacy Run won’t just provide patients at the Department of Veterans Affairs Community-Based Outpatient Clinic in Spirit Lake, Iowa, with clothing and entertainment.

According to Clinic Manager Angie Cook, the items comprising the grant will be part of the facility’s patients’ healing process.

The $4,750 grant – presented by American Legion Riders and Legionnaires from nearby Glen Pedersen Post 1 Spencer, Iowa – included a kayak, life jackets, helmets, clothing, coffee and snacks. The outdoor equipment will provide a lot to the patients.

“We see this kind of thing as part of a medical plan of care, because your mental health and spiritual health and physical health – whether it be riding a kayak or walking – is all part of being a healthy person,” Cook said.

Cook said working with organizations like The American Legion benefit both VA and its patients. “It means a lot to us because we are just honored to take care of the veterans,” she said. “When there are organizations that come alongside of us and provide more services, this is a great opportunity … so we can provide more care.”

Post 1 Vice Commander Mike Baartman delivered the items in the back of his pickup truck.

“It makes us very proud to help anyone who served our country (and) got wounded or disabled in one way or another,” Baartman said. “That we can help them out and fulfill their needs feels good.”