Disabled Vietnam Veteran Maintains Independence

Today, we would like to share a “Case of the Week” from our Sarasota Florida office.

Disabled Vietnam Veteran Maintains Independence

Sarasota was approached by a veteran just released after 3 months, following live transplant. He has many other issues, generated by Agent Orange during the Vietnam conflict – e.g. PTSD, bi-polarity, depression, anxiety and has been 100% disabled since the early ’70’s. Because of the length of his hospital stay, he has fallen behind on a number of bills, most immediately due is a monthly payment on his truck, without which he is immobilized. We stepped right in to help, just in time for the Thanksgiving holidays.


December Introduction Newsletter

Hey Folks,

Merry Christmas to all! has been one “Hell” of a year, God Bless us all, as we continue to try to survive.  At this point, we have lost 1/2 as many loved ones as we lost during WWII!  The Christmas Cheers will be labored, the Merry Christmas greetings will be muted from our mandated masks, Christmas Carols will be rare and possibly illegal, and large family gatherings will also be illegal or fine-able events.  So with all of the wishes I have for you and my fellow AMERICANS…We are LESS if we forget! Like Pearl Harbor…”Lest We Forget!” My dad always said.  This Letter was Posted in the Columbus Dispatch and received reads from almost 12,000 folks.

That DAY my dad faced SATAN, for this was HELL, for 90 minutes! We survive…that’s what we do!

Dad survived attack and saved many others! Especially, one stands out!

Attack happened before 8 AM on Sunday, December 7th 1941!!!

William Gordon Ely was born in Gallipolis, where he worked on the family farm when he was just 8 years old. Dad later faced the Depression with his family and joined the service at 17 when he lied about his age.

He was finally stationed at Pearl Harbor after touring the South Pacific and wrote to his mom that he found paradise, bragging about catching a 40-pound octopus and having a barbecue on the beach with the guys. Just before 8 a.m. on Dec. 7, 1941, “Bill” was on the porch of the barracks, because of an upset stomach from cucumber salad the night before, which saved his life.

The airfields were the first attacked and more than 200 men were lost there. Bill was a paramedic, so he was racing off in his ambulance truck just trying to get away from the Japanese aircraft, or Zeros, which were strafing him on both sides. His ambulance truck crashed in a burning crater, where a bomb just landed. In spite of his own injuries, wrapped temporarily, he was told to leave the dead and get the wounded to the hospital.

For three days his adrenaline kept him moving him. He did these rescues without sleep He carted as many of the soldiers to Hickam Fields Hospital as possible, even though he had to line up a great deal of them stacked outside, for there was no room left. He dove into the burning oil slicked waters of the Harbor, rescuing the injured. Too many to count! The attack lasted a total of 90 minutes and left 2,400 dead and 1,100 wounded and more.

Later, he found himself administering blood and glucose constantly to, especially, one critically wounded man, who was so badly burned. Dad would change his bandages, administered fluids to him, and even slept with the man, to keep him warm, so as he wouldn’t go into shock. That man’s mom wrote a letter to my dad thanking him for saving her son’s life.

The letter was later shown to the Red Cross and they started a blood drive using the importance of that story. Bill went on to be a founder of the “Pearl Harbor Survivors”, Columbus chapter, and co-founder of eight other chapters. He left in his will a major donation to the Motts Military Museum to help with the expansion of the new wing where his Pearl Harbor coat and memorabilia are on display.

“Lest we forget,” Dad, you are part of history!

John Ely, President of Veterans’ Outreach, Youngstown, Ohio

My Dad before the bomb took place!

This picture was 6 months before my Dad passed in march 2004. He was an Honored Guest at The West Point Society Luncheon. Standing next to him was Russell Paley West Point President, and Brigadier General John Jack Nicholson, Undersecretary of 2003 The Secretary was the Guest Speaker that day! My dad was showing off his Pearl Harbor Wallet!


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Sarasota Veteran Keeps Cool

Today, we would like to share a “Case of the Week” from our Sarasota Florida office.



A local veteran visited our Sarasota office.  He had lost his job due to Pandemic cutbacks and was very distraught because he could not  cover his electricity bill.  He was threatened with cutoff,  he asked for immediate help before the utility carried out their threat,  and we assisted him on the spot with a pledge for payment which halted the impending shut off.

Veteran’s Widow “Pays it Forward”

Today, we would like to share a “Case of the Week” from our corporate home located in Liberty Township, just north of Youngstown Ohio.


The widow of a recently deceased veteran gave us a call a week or so ago.  She let us know that her husband had passed on, and that she had requested donations for Veterans’ Outreach in lieu of flowers.  She wanted to let us know that she was sending a check.  I thanked her, of course.

She went on to say that her husband had gotten help from Veterans’ Outreach a few times over the last couple of years.  They had unexpected medical bills, and were living on a fixed income which is never a good combination.  He came to us for help with groceries when he couldn’t make ends meet.  She said we gave him so much with just a little because he had peace of mind knowing that he could turn to Veterans’ Outreach if things got tight.

DiBella’s Subs treats local veterans to free lunch

Editor’s note: This story corrects when a second delivery was planned. We regret the error.

LIBERTY TWP., Ohio (WKBN) – Local veterans got a special treat on Tuesday. Read more

Founders of non-profit in Liberty happy to help veterans across the Valley and beyond

LIBERTY, Ohio (WYTV) – You don’t have to be a veteran to help veterans. One man from Liberty and his wife have been helping out local veterans for years.

John Ely isn’t a veteran, but he is familiar with the needs of veterans. His father survived in Pearl Harbor and his brother suffers from PTSD from his service in Vietnam.

John and his wife Teri run the Veterans’ Outreach organization in Liberty. It started over 25 years ago when John took a trip to San Francisco.

“That’s where I experienced homelessness that was beyond my imagination. I didn’t even know it existed and I found out a lot of them were veterans that were homeless,” John said.

If a veteran needs clothes, they can turn to Veterans’ Outreach. Food, Veterans’ Outreach. Short on cash to cover utilities, you guessed it, Veterans’ Outreach.

They serve over 100 local veterans at their local facility each month, but their impact reaches much further than the Mahoning Valley.

“We’re registered in six states right now but we’re hoping it will be a lot more than that in the next 10 years, depending on our development,” John said.

It started with helping one veteran, then Teri helped to file the paperwork to set up their non-profit organization.

“So I see them come in and when they leave, they’re carrying large amounts of clothes or a big box of food and they’re getting the help they came here for and they’re smiling. We put up a case of the week on our website and Facebook, I don’t know if you saw that, but we highlight one case a week and there are so many rewarding things,” Teri said.

So the need for donations is greater than ever.

John’s right-hand man is “Mr. Bob.” He meets with everyone who walks into Veterans’ Outreach. It’s his job to educate each veteran on the benefits available to them.

“Most of them don’t know what all the resources are, but we have some that do know everything that’s out there and they help us refer them to other people,” said Bob Julian, service director.

Veterans’ Outreach always welcomes donations and volunteers.

To read full story click here


Today, we would like to share a “Case of the Week” from our corporate home located in Liberty Township, north of Youngstown Ohio.


A female veteran came to our office in a frantic state.  Her water was due to be shut off on that day!  She had gotten behind due to Covid related issues.  Our Services Director, Bob Julian, was able to contact the water company, make a pledge for payment, and they agreed to stay the shut off.

She left us with peace of mind, and more groceries than she could carry in one trip!

The Blood, the Guts, and the GLORY?

John’s Editorial

The Blood, the Guts, and the GLORY?

Most Americans have stories to tell about personal experiences or of a loved one’s service to our country.  However, many stories won’t be told and we will never know the true essence of what happened that kept us all safe from tyranny.

The IMPACT of war is real! Veterans’ Outreach sees this week-in and week-out. The Glory belongs to the USA because of the successes of our great military might. Many veterans never see that victory or glory.  It’s hard to see the “big picture” when they are still embroiled by the impact of war.

My Pearl Harbor Survivor father and my Vietnam Veteran brother showed me the torture of their virtual prisons with PTSD and ongoing, agonizing medical conditions like Agent Orange. My son is serving as a Captain in the US Army National Guard and was deployed to Afghanistan.

Many never talk about it, because it still hurts.  It would help if the soldiers could tell their loved ones their stories, so we can help hand that down to the next generation. The next Americans that are born into this country should know what it took to give them their cherished Freedoms. The American Flag should always be revered and for all of us to remember that those red stripes were the Blood and the Guts that were spilled for us!

When I see a homeless or distraught hurting vet, I don’t have to wonder what happened to them, because it was through my experiences with my own family, I do somewhat understand and I can feel their pain.

If you have served or had a family member serving or served, please send that story to my email: [email protected]

We will post it, with your permission, on our Veterans’ Outreach website archive and possibly feature them in our VetNet Newsletter.

Happy Veterans’ Day!

Thank you to all of our Veterans!


Today, we would like to share a “Case of the Week” from our corporate home located in Liberty Township, north of Youngstown Ohio.


A female veteran came to us for immediate help.  Her husband had been working in a foreign country, he has been detained from returning due to the perils of the time we live in.  The veteran has become homeless due to this situation.  She sought help from the VA through the HUD VASH program, and they have been able to find her permanent housing.

She needed help with the fee for applying for utilities, she needed food and personal items.  We were able to help her with all of those.