By Mike Steely
The Knoxville Disabled American Veterans, Chapter 24, will hold a Memorial Service for Veterans Thursday at 5:30 p.m. with a meal prepared by the Auxiliary and a 6:30 service with Chaplin Harold Wilson. The DAV post is located at 2600 Holbrook Avenue, above the Fountain City Park.
The Knoxville Chapter of DAV needs your help. The organization, with about 900 members, has several programs for veterans, especially for the disabled due to service injuries.
Commander Larry Long and past commander Rick Lynch, told The Knoxville Focus that the DAV loans equipment such as scooters, walkers, powered and regular wheelchairs, and adjustable beds out to disabled veterans as long as needed and asks that the equipment be returned after use. They said the powered chairs and scooters need extensive maintenance but so much of the equipment is loaned and some of it not returned that more is needed.
“We are certainly in need,” said Lynch.
Long explained that the DAV picks up or loans more than 500 pieces of equipment each year, including more than 100 power chairs and scooters, and the inventory of power equipment is down to five units.
All of the loaned equipment has a DAV sticker and anyone with equipment not being used, or equipment to donate, is urged to call the DAV at (865) 689-7789 or contact Long at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The DAV offers the volunteer-driven Volunteer Shuttle service that is available to any veteran needing to go from Knoxville to the VA hospital in Johnson City. Anyone interested in the schedule and two pickup locations should call (865)694-7101.
The DAV also has an ongoing fundraising drive at Sam’s Club West this Friday and Saturday and is working with the Ben Atchley Veterans Home in providing a 5-foot by 60-foot raised-garden box there so residents can grow their vegetables.
They are also involved in the Free Meal for Veterans on Veterans Day at Golden Corral and take part in the Knoxville Veterans Day Parade and host a luncheon after the parade.
Long thanked the Junior ROTC program at Central High School for all their help.
“We also have emergency assistance to disabled veterans and have a service officer that can help any veteran in preparing requests and appeals to the Veterans Administration,” Lynch said.
The DAV post, founded 80 years ago, meets the second Thursday of each month at 6:30 p.m. and information is available at (865)689-7789.