SIOUX FALLS, S.D. - Veterans Day is Sunday, making a special operation even more timely. The bitter cold has arrived, and Friday so too did six trucks' worth of donated warm winter clothing.
"We know there's a need," said Don Altman, active member of the Army Reserves who also belongs to the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association. "This time of year, especially here in the north, north country, South Dakota, it gets cold. And a lot of vets don't have the extra money to spend to get coats, socks, boots, gloves, hats, and there's a need. So we wanted to fulfill that need."
The donated items came to Volunteers of America's Veterans Services Center in Sioux Falls thanks to Operation Warm Our Vets. Members of the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association collected the items.
"We put some feelers out there, and social media, and said, hey, we have, we're going to collect some clothing and some socks and things for veterans," Altman said.
"It wasn't just warm clothing, I mean, it's all kinds of stuff," said John Hart, managing director for Volunteers of America, Dakotas. "Things that veterans need, things that we all need. If we can't have our basic needs met, it's really hard to focus on other things, especially if you've gotten maybe a little sideways in life, maybe you're experiencing homelessness, maybe you're experiencing some social or personal issues."
And it's not just veterans who will benefit- their families are also being warmed by this generosity.
"This will make such a huge impact on them," Hart said. "Wintertime they need this, but also what a statement of respect for our veterans that, Veterans Day is this Sunday. And to have them bring all this now, it's a true gift."