Don’t Forget: Remember the Vet

“The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive the veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by their nation.” — George Washington.

In an Oct. 1 White House ceremony, retired Army Staff Sgt. Ronald Shurer II was awarded the Medal of Honor before a room filled by family, fellow soldiers and friends. This hero, now a Secret Service agent protecting the president who bestowed the honor, saved multiple lives in 2008 as a Special Forces medic in Afghanistan while under continual fire from 200 enemy combatants.

A decade later, Mr. Shurer is fighting another battle — this time with stage 4 lung cancer. More than 500 people have joined his cause to raise money for his wife and two young sons through a GoFundMe account.

The point of the story is that our fellow citizens who take the oath of enlistment display a similar willingness to risk their lives when called upon to do so. Regular flag covered arrivals at Dover AFB attest to that. Others return with visible and invisible scars.

The Delaware’s Veterans Trust Fund is similar in principle to a GoFundMe account but it is spread over the hundreds of veterans who reluctantly ask for help every year. The Trust Fund has prevented utility disconnections, repossessions, evictions, made emergency repairs to homes and vehicles, and sometimes put food on the table.

Most of all, it has provided a brief respite from the financial burdens of patriots who have given so much.

Between $80,000 and $100,000 is granted each year depending on need and available resources.

Its one-time, hand-up grants are primarily raised from private donors and community organizations coordinated through the Friends of Delaware Veterans. The Friends is comprised of military veterans from across the state who work without compensation in conjunction with the Delaware Commission of Veterans Affairs.

Our biggest fundraising event is always near Veterans Day. The 5th annual Trust Fund dinner will happen on Saturday, Nov. 3, at Dover Downs’ Rollins Center. The registration deadline is Oct. 25. Please join us. If you cannot attend the event, a tax-deductible donations is always welcome.

Visit www.DelawareVeterans or call 739-2792 for details.

Don’t Forget: Remember the Vet. Not only during the holiday season but year-round.

Dave Skocik, president

Friends of Delaware
Veterans, Inc.


Dave Skocik and fellow Vietnam veteran Paul Davis are cofounders of the Friends of Delaware Veterans, the fundraising organization of the Delaware Veterans Trust Fund. The Friends board is made up of veterans who work pro bono for all generations of state veterans. They are listed on the website above.

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