Saturday, September 12, 2015

• Vet Expo 2015

The Elks Lodge hosted Assemblywoman Melissa Melendez's Vet Expo in Wildomar on Saturday September 12th 2015.

The Elks Lodge was full of people.
I read the flyer wrong. I thought it was more of an open house, and didn't realize there were any opening ceremonies in store. By coming at the 3/4 mark (1:00pm), I figured I'd get some stats for the day, which I did, but I also missed Melendez's opening remarks. 

Sacramento just finished with their most recent legislative session and the Assemblywoman didn't return home until the wee hours of the morning. I did get to speak with Deni Horne of her staff and learned that over 115 vets had signed in. There were 35ish (probably closer to 40) vendors, and the Elks Lodge provided all the food.

I'm sure some of you purists will say this is an overstatement, but the hamburgers that were served were very reminiscent of the ones we bought at In-N-Out... which is to say they were pretty good.

Of the vendors in the house, there were representatives of the CHP, Lion's Club, The Assistance League, Habitat for Humanity, and too many others to count, but I did find one that stood out and thought you might like to know more about them.

They're called Help Hospitalized Veterans.
Help Hospitalized Veterans had the most eye catching display.


I asked Larry "Ranger" (it was either Keane or King) to tell me about Help Hospitalized Veterans. 
What is 'Help Hospitalized Veterans'?

We receive arts and crafts kits from different organizations, we package them up and send them out to the veterans in the mail — free of charge. 

We're also in fourteen different states where we have Community Service Buildings. [In those areas] veterans can go from their hospital to right across the street

Everything we have is a physical therapy based product. It's to help with PTSD. Through research [it's been established] that if you stay busy, that dark spot where all of our bad memories are,  doesn't come out. 

[We have] Leather products, wood products, paint... [Things like] stamping leather, biker's wallets, women's purses, leather bracelets, leather tooling.

It gives a lot of people something to get involved in, to develop a hobby.

If you're a vet, how do you be part of HHV?

Go to our website HHV.org, or you can give us a call at 951-926-4500 ext.112. It's free to enroll. Everything we do with veterans is free. 

You mentioned donations. We area a non-profit. We are supported by private donors. You can donate by going to the website as well. You can use the same number for donations to 951-926-4500. 

We have a new program where organizations that support veterans can receive some of our arts and crafts kits. Just call and get the application started. We'll send arts and crafts to your organization for you to give out. 

There's nothing like this [HHV] out there. If there's a veteran out there that needs something to do, that doesn't have the money to go out and buy his craft kits... you need to give us a call. We will hook you up.



Note to self: next year you need to make it to the earlier part of the expo, not be a straggler like this year.
•      •       

Caring for veterans shouldn't be a partisan issue. It should an American one.
—  Jennifer Granholm

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