We know that Brevard County has a large veterans population. And there are many residents who support and are willing to help wherever there is a need among the men and women who served.
Recently, I set out to do a couple of quick interviews for short video clips highlighting volunteers with the National Veterans Homeless Support, a Brevard County-based organization. It was then that I saw once again the passion with which some people volunteer to help veterans in need in our community.
I know NVHS and people connected with it. I could name more than a dozen volunteers who assist the NVHS in some capacity — searching homeless camps for veterans in need, keeping the accounting books in order, answering phones and serving on the volunteer board that helps to steer the organization. Some will tell you they were inspired by the work and the passion for helping veterans in need demonstrated by NVHS founder, the late George Taylor Sr.
David and Lorrie Fox of Palm Bay head to a soup kitchen at least once a week with supplies to attend to veterans. They give the veterans clothes, food and other supplies and try to guide them toward housing and other help they might need.
“They fought for us, so I can help them,” Lorrie Fox said.
The couple first inquired about helping needy veterans nearly 10 years ago and have been NVHS volunteers since.
“We started checking into it and got hooked,” said Dave Fox, a Vietnam veteran who served in the Army. “I do it to help all the vets out here.”
NVHS has helped to drastically reduce the homelessness among veterans in Brevard County in recent years. It now also focuses on the veterans on the verge of homelessness.
Cathie McMullin said she is not physically able to go into the wooded camps in search of veterans but found she could help with what she knows well. She is the organization’s finance director and serves on the board of directors.
There are many others. One I encountered at the soup kitchen was Barbara Simons, “80ish” as she told me. She was there to help as she always does, sitting in a walker she uses to get around after breaking her hip in a fall.
“I just want to give back,” she said.