Thank a Wounded Warrior

Center For Siouxland sponsors the Siouxland Volunteer Center (SVC) to serve as a clearinghouse to recruit, train, and support community volunteers.  These volunteers will be available for county-wide disaster response, and will also provide much needed on-going support to local non-profits who are challenged to maintain staffing levels in the current economy.  The Retired and Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) of Woodbury County, which Center For Siouxland has sponsored for 28 years, is one component of the larger Siouxland Volunteer Center. 

The primary role of the Siouxland Volunteer Center is to bring people and community needs together through a range of programs and services.  Our position in the community is centered on the ability to 1) connect people with opportunities to serve; 2) build capacity for effective local volunteering; 3) promote volunteering; 4) participate in strategic initiatives that mobilize volunteers to meet local community needs; and 5) help during times of disaster.

Currently, the Siouxland Volunteer Center and RSVP are partnering with the Wounded Warrior Project and the Army recruiters to commemorate the 10th anniversary of Sept. 11th by hosting a ‘tribute by postcard’ to wounded soldiers and their families.  While community members come together to complete a postcard, they will be asked to register as a disaster response volunteer.  Therefore, this event will also serve as a tool to increase volunteer engagement.  Potential volunteers will also be asked to complete a volunteer honor card, pledging their time to address particular community needs. 

The event will be promoted on local television and radio and will be held outside of a popular restaurant.  The local branches of the military will be present in uniform and will be arriving in their military vehicles.  Wounded military personnel will be on hand to personally greet the public.  It will also give the public a firsthand account of the sacrifices of the military and their families.  Community members completing their postcard will be given the opportunity to formally register as a disaster response volunteer.  The completed post cards will be sent to various Veterans Administrative hospitals nationwide.

The actions of completing a disaster response volunteer registration and a postcard to wounded and disabled veterans pays tribute to the lives and legacies of the victims and heroes of 9/11.  In meeting with local military personnel, the overall consensus is that active duty soldiers are regularly thanked for their service.  However, veterans that have done their service, have gotten injured and are now in a treatment facility such as a VA hospital rarely receive the recognition or the attention they have earned.  The 1000 post-cards will be distributed nationwide to reach soldiers across the United States.  This opportunity allows the community of Siouxland to recognize September 11th as truly a day of service and remembrance.

The September 11th postcard tribute event will serve and impact the community on two levels.  First, it is designed to honor and remember the service and sacrifice of veterans that have been wounded in the process of defending the freedoms of the United States.  It will also serve as a reminder to the community and these veterans that they are not forgotten.  Second, community members are being asked to register as disaster response volunteers.  Due to the June flooding of the Missouri River in the Siouxland area, volunteerism in times of disaster is on the forefront of everyone’s mind.  Especially since the Siouxland area is still dealing with the flooding disaster, volunteers will be needed more than ever to help members of the community recover.