Submitted by Meg Dickens
The Johnson County Senior Center had its monthly Veterans’ Cafe on December 15. As veterans and nonveterans alike prepare to celebrate the Christmas season, it is paramount that everyone remembers those who fought to make the lives they live possible. As explained by Veteran Robert Hensley, National Executive Committee Member of the American Legion, showing that recognition could be the difference between life and death.
According to statistics shared by Hensley, 22 active or nonactive veterans in Tennessee attempt suicide every day. That is why officials enacted a Buddy Check Program that contacts those who are or were in service twice a year to make sure they know they are in others’ thoughts. Members reach out each March and November annually. “That call or knock on the door could save a life,” Hensley explained.
Thank a veteran this Christmas. The center chose Army Veteran Gene Hackney as Veteran of the Month. Hackney and his wife have been running the poppy fundraiser for decades, which raises money to help local veterans in need.
Veterans in attendance reported helping a homeless veteran in town this November.
Members can nominate a veteran for this award online at johnsoncountyseniorcenter.com. Veterans in need should reach out to County Veterans Service Officer Ralph Hutto for more information on how to receive help. Contact Hutto’s office at (423) 727- 7929.