By Sgt. 1st Class Jennifer Kauffman
Senior medical readiness NCO, 64th Troop Command
VetsRoll.org provides 200 veterans from World War II, Vietnam, Korea, and a handful of “Rosie the Riveters” a free four-day trip to Washington, D.C., in order for the heroes to see their war memorials.
The medical staff consists of volunteers that assist the Veterans during the trip and the level of expertise ranges from paramedics, licensed practical nurses, registered nurses, physical therapists, respiratory therapists, certified nursing assistants, first responders, and firefighters.
The organization conducts fundraising events year-round at fairs, sponsors hangar dances and nights at Culver’s in Beloit.
It is much more than a bus trip for the veterans. Lifelong friendships are built with heroes from different eras of war. Stories, laughter, smiles, and tears are shared. It is an emotional feeling to be with a veteran standing in front of their memorial for the first time.
An invocation is given by a pastor and reveille is played by a serviceman in uniform prior to leaving and all the Veterans receive a swag bag. Professional portraits are taken of each veteran and a photo of the entire group at the WWII memorial. Several VIP guest speakers addressed the veterans at the memorial prior to mail call, which is delivered by Uncle Sam.
As a volunteer I find this trip rewarding, emotional, educational and sometimes beyond words. If you are interested in volunteering or donating to VetsRoll.org please visit the website at www.vetsroll.org.