FORT LEE, Va. (Dec. 23, 2021) – Three Army Soldiers attending training at the Army Logistics University volunteered to feed homeless military veterans at the Vetlink Veteran Service Center in Richmond, Virginia Dec. 21.
Volunteers, Victoria Schuler, Dedrick Jennings, and Justin Grissett, are all second lieutenants attending the Basic Officer Leadership Course at ALU. BOLC is an entry-level, two-phased course designed to teach junior Army commissioned officers leadership skills and certain branch specific capabilities.
“I thought it was an amazing opportunity to give back to our veterans who have done so much for our community and nation,” says Schuler, who is currently serving in the Idaho Army National Guard as a 92A Quartermaster Officer. “I am so grateful for the community’s support and giving back by volunteering.”
The event was hosted by Vetlink, a nonprofit organization that is focused on providing support to veterans who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. The event provided homeless veterans hot meals, entertainment, and gifts.
Lois Withers, Vetlink’s volunteer coordinator and Army veteran, says the importance of Soldiers attended the event helped the veterans connect with current military members and future veterans.
“Having Soldiers volunteer for this event makes it more real and personable. ...Bridging the gap between being a veteran and being an active duty service members gives both them their perspectives when they talk with each other.”
Another volunteer, Jennings, an Orlando, Florida native is currently serving in the Florida Army National Guard as 91A Maintenance Control Officer. According to Jennings he knew immediately he wanted to volunteer when he found out what it was.
“I volunteered for this opportunity when I heard that I’d be helping veterans,” said Jennings. “I think it is a beautiful thing and I always love to give back to the community.”
Grissett, a Chicago, Illinois native, currently serving as an 88A Transportation Officer with the Illinois Army National Guard, says that he wanted to give back to those that served before him.
“I volunteered because I feel I a need to serve the public in more ways than just my military service.” Grissett continued, “This event is a way for me to give back and also learn from veterans.”
Vetlink staff and veterans say they were appreciative of the Soldiers volunteering in the community.
“It was really nice for the veterans that we have here,” said Kelley Tumlin, Vetlink program manager. “The veterans enjoyed having Soldiers volunteer and to take their time out of their holiday to help out.”