VFW seeks to help area veterans affected by recent flooding

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

The national Veterans of Foreign Wars organization is joining the state and national effort to provide financial assistance to eligible residents who suffered damage from recent flooding in Bourbon and Linn counties.

VFW Post No. 1165 Commander Clint Walker, a sixyear VFW member who recently began his two-year stint as commander of the local post, said the non-profit organization is seeking area veterans in Bourbon and Linn counties who are in the process of rebuilding their homes or who have lost their possessions due to severe flooding that took place across the state in late June and early July.

Walker said there are many veterans in Southeast Kansas, and particularly in specific areas of the region, who are in urgent need of assistance and may not know how to obtain it. "Oh there's a need, especially in Linn County," he said. "We hope to have a good response, if people will just let us know."

Walker said VFW members and members of the VFW Women's Auxiliary unit may apply for free financial assistance by contacting him at (620) 743- 0114 to obtain an application. Walker is the contact for assistance in Bourbon and Linn counties, while other Kansas counties participating in the flood relief effort each have different contacts in their areas, he said.

"It's open to any VFW member who is in good standing (with the organization), either men or women," Walker said. "I figured it's free and it's available so they might as well know how to get it."

Walker, a 30- year U. S. Army veteran and one of 500 VFW Post No. 1165 members nationwide, said the available money is provided through the thousands of VFW posts across the United States. He said he did not know exactly how much money is available, but that local veterans who need the help should take advantage of this unique opportunity.

"I just want to get the money to the people who need it," he said. "It's veterans taking care of veterans."

Walker said after he receives the completed applications, he forwards them to the district and state VFW offices, who then determine if the applicant is eligible for assistance. This process takes about three or four days, and the amount the person is granted, if any, is then typically sent directly to the applicant, Walker said.