A Day in the Life of a Vittles Veteran

A report from the field from our Founder and President, Bill McCann:

I would like to steal a line from one of my favorite TV shows, the “Twilight Zone,” as I think it is appropriate to this story.

Imagine if You Will

You are a 78 year old veteran living with his wife in a small trailer on a very fixed income. Your family is either living out of state or nonexistent, you and your loved one are terribly alone as your friends have all passed, and you are without any type of financial support other than the small social security check received monthly.

So small is the check that you have very little left over after paying the necessary bills, and can afford just enough food for survival. You have an elderly pet who is your only living family member and, though you cannot afford to feed him, you refuse to give him up.

Many days you go hungry to the point where despair and depression rule your life. You weep in shame at not having the ability to provide for your loving wife as age has deprived you of that ability. You desperately hold on though the future is bleak with no hope in sight, and you pray.

We have such a veteran and though his story is not unique, as it exemplifies every veteran enrolled in the Vittles program, it is a fact little known to the general public. Many of our veterans are starving.

Upon my unannounced visit to this veteran, for the purpose of explaining the Vittles program and vetting him to make sure he qualifies, I was welcome into his humble home. As I explained in detail about the program both he and his wife showed tears welling up in their eyes as she spoke: “Just this morning” she said, “we were both sitting here crying, praying for help. Now you are here answering our prayers.”

To say I was “humbled” would be an understatement.

I went on to explain that Vittles for Vets will not only issue bi-weekly food gift cards in the amount of $50.00 along with a monthly pet card for $20.00 to ensure they don’t use their card to care for their pet, but we will also collect food from local food banks and deliver it to them to supplement the card. In short they will never know hunger again.

As we now serve over 100 veterans and families, and as we feel that no child should go without presents on Christmas morning and a wonderful Christmas dinner with all the fixins', we have positioned ourselves at the very end of a thin branch.

Having 48 children of veterans enrolled in the program ages 18 and under, for which we are providing gifts or gift cards in the amount of $150.00 per child, and as we are issuing a $50.00 gift card to every veteran for a Christmas Dinner, we will surely find our coffers to be at a low point in January and February, but we take comfort in the knowledge that creating wonderful Christmas memories, especially for the children, has a value of “priceless.”

This is the part where I ask for your support, in any amount, to insure we can continue our mission and grow to serve our veteran community who are experiencing difficult times.

A very Happy and Merry Christmas to all, and thank you for your consideration.

-- Bill McCann

Founder and President

Vittles for Vets