Help us issue a call to action for area veterans

Published 12:08 am Sunday, March 13, 2016

“The best things in life are free,” so the song goes.

Well, they’re not. The best things in our lives as citizens – freedom and democracy – have been won and protected with a high price: the sacrifices of our veterans. It’s almost cliché to say that. However, the vast majority of Americans including those in our area really cannot know what that “high price” truly means deep down to our veterans.

And that’s okay.

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What is not okay is to neglect our veterans or be ambivalent toward them. We want to end that attitude in a way that could make our area the model for veterans support in the nation.

From 9 to 10 a.m. Wednesday, veterans’ groups are issuing a call to action for area veterans and supporters. We will have a gathering at 307 Market St. in Natchez. There, we will launch the Helping Hands for Veterans Project and the Visit-A-Vet Project, two new initiatives in our area. We also will have information about other projects to help veterans.

The entire community is invited, and we urge churches, nonprofit organizations, civic groups, businesses, etc. to send a representative to learn about these great opportunities to help veterans, who sacrificed their lives and years for us.

We will not ask for money, just your presence, which we hope you will follow up with action. There are more than 2,500 veterans in our area, many of whom feel abandoned, neglected and unappreciated.

The Helping Hands involves house and yard improvements, on a moderate scale. The Visit-A-Vet involves a two-person team (veteran or non-veteran) visiting a veteran and just giving him/her the time to feel appreciated.

They stood up for us; it’s time we stood up for them. All we ask is that you attend our Call to Action. If you can’t make it, please reach out to me (601-442-0980), or Sonjagela Johnson (601-304-7800), Adams County Veterans Service Officer. We’ll gladly call you and meet with you to talk about how you can help. We have many other programs and projects for which we need volunteers.

So, join us and our team. Make a difference in veterans’ lives because they made a difference in ours. As I’ve often said, “Honor a Veteran; Honor America.”

We know your heart and life will be enriched.

Thank you.

And please pray for our men and women in uniform, and our veterans.


G. Mark LaFrancis is a 23-year Air Force veteran and president of the Home With Heroes Foundation.