By HEAL Staff Writer Jessica Martinez
Lincoln County is lucky to be home to many men and women who have served our country in the armed forces. Many of them continue to serve our community in many capacities. Those who compose the local chapter of the Vietnam Veterans of America have pledged their time, talent, interests, and/or membership dues to support local veterans, their families, and more.
“The VVA is a national veterans’ organization whose members are not only those who served in the country of Vietnam, but also those who served during the era (from 1961 to 1975),” explained local chapter president Jerry Ligon.
Initially known as the Council of Vietnam Veterans, the VVA’s officially began in 1979 as an organization of advocates for Vietnam Veterans and their families. Ligon established the local chapter in 2012. The group meets the fourth Wednesday of each month at the old Lincoln County Waste Building on Second Street in Ruidoso Downs.
“We serve other veterans in our various communities who require some assistance, of just about any kind,” Ligon said. “We have provided wheel chairs and in-home assistance, as well as rides for veterans needing help getting to their medical appointments.”
The group’s community outreach extends beyond veterans to other needs as well, including Lincoln County’s first and only domestic violence shelter, the Nest. The group plans to make a donation every quarter to the group who serves all survivors of domestic violence in Lincoln County and beyond.
“Veteran organizations want to help all of our community organizations that we deem to be contributing to improving our communities as well as Veterans needing some assistance,” explained Ligon.
“We know HEAL & the Nest Domestic Violence Shelter would not be possible without our community partners, and we are so appreciative of them,” said HEAL Board Member Micah Woodul. “Hearing about the support from the VVA is especially dear to my heart because my brother, who recently passed away, was also a Vietnam Veteran.”