Gifts Presented to Vets with Honor

Wednesday, December 23, 2015
Veterans for Vets/Legacy for Vets honors local veterans at Rector Nursing and Rehab Center on Monday. Pictured are, from left: Front- U.S. Army veterans Glenn Wheeler, Arlie Hendrix and Don Parmenter. Back-group members Steve Edwards, Eric Reckling and Kenny Wright.(TD photo/Jessica Rainwater)

"Vets for Vets is our motto," said Kenny Wright of the Vietnam Vets for Vets/Legacy Vets MC biker club Monday as the club made rounds visiting with veterans at Rector Nursing and Rehab in Rector.

The club visited local veterans Bob Bridges, Glenn Wheeler, Don Parmenter, Arlie Hendrix and Jerry Carrol, all of whom served in the U.S. Army, with the exception of Carrol, who served in the U.S. Navy.

Club representatives Wright, Steve Edwards, and Eric Reckling honored the veterans by presenting each with a monogrammed robe encasing their name and service branch on the breast and two letters, one from Gov. Asa Hutchinson and another from Lt. Gov. Tim Griffin. Each official expressed his thanks for each vets' service and warm wishes for the holidays.

"Too often people put their family in a nursing home and then forget about them, that's why we're here to let them know they are not forgotten," Edwards said.

"If only we can make people think about this? How nice it would be to get people to simply go visit a vet, and not just on Christmas or Veterans Day, but all year round," Wright said. "We have all been touched by them in some way, whether related or not."

The club has traveled to Doniphan presenting robes and letters already this week, but they also plan to visit four nursing homes in Paragould and one in Wynne before Christmas. Each member of the club is a veteran, some from the Vietnam War, Iraq and Afghanistan. Bringing brothers of service together in more ways than one, the club is dedicated to making sure veterans are not forgotten and they know someone does care. "It's important for the vets to get recognition from their elected officials," Wright said. "This is also our challenge to other veteran associations -- to show our vets we have not forgotten."

How many places the club can visit depends on funds and all funds go straight into the items for the veterans. "There is no administration charges; every dime goes to them," Wright said. "In this case we received a generous donation from Glen Sain."

Wright added the club wants to expand the movement throughout Northeast Arkansas if the funds are available. Also, the club wants to hear about any World War II veterans in the area, because "there are so few left, we would be extremely proud to make sure they are recognized," Wright said.

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