George Monroe Post 3 of Newcastle, Wyo., is proud to announce a new program called “Students 4 Veterans.” This special program is designed to help veterans in need of such things as chores, yardwork and occasional heavy lifting. While there are estimated to be over 600 veterans in Weston County alone, it is unknown how many of those are isolated with no family or support networks to help them.
Upon the suggestion and recommendation of Legion member Barry Peterson, the membership approved a letter to the school board of the Weston County School District #1 outlining the need for such veterans of WWII, Korea and Vietnam. The letter proposed how high school students could become involved in helping those veterans to do such tasks as yardwork, heavy cleaning, etc.
The board reacted to Peterson’s letter in a very positive manner. Not only did the board and superintendent support the Legion's effort, but Mr. Tracy Ragland, principal at Newcastle High School, initiated a very strong response from the staff and students at the school. Ragland, along with students from the high school, immediately started attending the Veterans Free Breakfast that is done on the second Tuesday of each month. As a personal support for this program, Ragland even paid for the students' breakfasts during the monthly event. Since this initial support, Ragland has spearheaded the working relationship between the American Legion “Students 4 Veterans” committee and the school district staff and students.
To initiate the “Students 4 Veterans” program, the Legion has set up a special phone number, 746-8858. This phone will be for veterans to call in who may need help. This phone will only be used for this link between the Legion and the students. When a veteran, or a veteran's widow, calls this special number information will then be relayed to the school for the initiation of the student help. All the details on how this program will operate have been worked out between the high school and The American Legion. The rollout of “Students 4 Veterans” was initiated on Nov. 14 at the Veterans Free Breakfast.
In furtherance of this special program the Weston County School District #7 in Upton, Wyo., will also start participating in this Legion program.