Veterans' Outreach Spotlight of the Week 12-28-22

VFW Partners with Veterans’ Outreach

A VFW Post from Athens, Alabama met one of the Veterans’ Outreach team members fundraising for veterans in need.  The VFW visitor checked out the Veterans’ Outreach website and reported that he was very impressed.  He said, “Veterans’ Outreach is doing wonderful work.”  He let the Veterans’ Outreach Alabama team know of a disabled veteran in need of a ramp.

The cost and construction of the ramp was a daunting task.  Veterans’ Outreach was able to contribute to the project.  The veterans from the VFW were glad to make the connection and plan to work with Veterans’ Outreach in the future to benefit more veterans in need.

Veterans' Outreach case of the week 12-21-22

Surprise Vow Renewal Ceremony

Sharon volunteers at the Grayson KY office.  She loves to visit with the office staff and the other volunteers while they sort Heroes’ Closet donations that are freely given to veterans.  GenerousVeterans' Outreach Kentucky vow renewal. donors support the Heroes’ Closet Program through donations of attire, household goods, appliances, hygiene items and many other products. 

Sharon and her husband Anthony had a tough year in 2021 with marital struggles that were due to alcoholism.  They even separated for a while.  Over the months, the alcohol was kicked to the curb, and they got back together.  They started attending church.  

These changes have made all the difference and they have found peace, joy, and love once again.  Anthony wanted to give his wife a very special surprise.  He wanted to renew the vows they made to each other and asked the KY office to help.  Ray, the Regional Manager is a pastor.  He and the office staff made the arrangements, then held the ceremony a few days ago.  How wonderful that this couple was able to find each other again, and that Veterans’ Outreach was able to assist.

Veterans' Outreach Case of the Week 2-14-22.

Hollywood Gaming Loves Veterans

Valentine’s Day is a perfect time to share how Hollywood Gaming has helped hundreds of veterans.  They contacted Veterans’ Outreach to set up a means of supporting veterans on an ongoing basis.  They added software to their ticket cash out machines that offers the opportunity to donate to charity as the players cash out.  The Hollywood Gaming patrons have been amazingly supportive and generous.  The donations are directly responsible for the Direct Aid that hundreds of veterans have received from Veterans’ Outreach.  Hollywood Gaming and its’ patrons have helped veterans with needs that they found to be overwhelming such as shelter, rent, utilities, car repair, insurance, groceries, and whatever other immediate needs were discovered.

Veterans’ Outreach Board, Staff, and Volunteers are humbled, motivated, and inspired by the generosity of Hollywood Gaming to support Veterans’ Outreach mission to respectfully serve and honor all veterans.

American History Trivia Challenge

1)What city is the host of the All-American Soap Box Derby Day?

A. Seattle, Washington

B. Bridgewater, Massachusetts

C. Flint, Michigan

D. Akron, Ohio


2)How much did the price of beef rise because of inflation during the American Revolution?

A. 50%

B. 1000%

C. 33,000%

D. 75,000%


3)Where was the majority of the Battle of Bunker Hill fought?

A. Bunker Hill

B. Pete’s Hill

C. Breed’s Hill

D. It was never fought


4)Where is the original copy of the Declaration of Independence?

A. The Museum of Natural History

B. National Archives Building

C. Chapel Hill, NC

D. Gettysburg, PA


5)On what was the Declaration of Independence written?

A. Wax paper

B. Thomas Jefferson’s wallpaper

C. Chinese paper

D. Parchment


6)On what did Congress forget to vote, causing a controversy in the Midwest United States?

A. Ohio being admitted to the Union

B. Women’s suffrage

C. The “Lazy Bill” Bill

D. The Highway Bill


7)On what day did most people sign the Declaration of Independence?

A. July 4

B. August 2

C. November 13

D. January 29


Answers: 1D, 2C, 3C, 4B, 5D, 6A, 7B

Alabama Regional Director Retires from Veterans’ Outreach (Navy Veteran Served at Bay of Pigs) 

Bob Wheeler, Veterans’ Outreach’s Regional Manager of Alabama, has been a great friend and advocate for veterans in the state of Alabama.  He truly has been a “beacon of hope” for thousands of veterans in their time of need.

He started with the mission out of Columbus, Ohio in 2002 when he retired from a management career.  Columbus, Ohio is his birthplace, January 9th in 1937.  When he and his wife, Carol, decided to move closer to family in Alabama, he offered to develop the state by opening a full-service office to offer assistance to veterans.

Bob has been passionate and worked tirelessly to help veterans in need.  He found a good location in Decatur for our first office in Alabama and wasted no time in getting the mission in operation.  His wife, Carol, came on board to manage the office.  Carol had been very quiet in early meetings with Veterans’ Outreach, but after she got involved, she has become the heartbeat of that office.   She has even visited homeless veterans living under bridges in an effort to lend a helping hand.

After a few years of getting established, Bob said that he was tired of paying rent and was going to find a building to purchase for the permanent home of Veterans’ Outreach in Alabama.  Bob has proven himself to Veterans’ Outreach many times and this wasn’t any different.  He found a great location with a couple of acres in Hartselle Alabama.

While Bob was at home one evening, he suffered a bad heart attack.  He had to have a quadruple by-pass.  Before the operation, John Ely visited him from the corporate office.   John was pleased that Bob was in good spirits and anxious to get “fixed up” and get back to work. John could tell that Bob was on some strong relaxers for he was strangely laughing out loud at silly things!

So, he took the opportunity to ask Bob a question that he had asked several times before and Bob’s answer was always “If I tell ya’, I will have to kill ya’!”   With the passage of time, even military operations get declassified, and John took the chance during that hospital visit to ask him that question again.

“Well Bob, I can’t remember what you did while you were in the military?” Bob looked up at the ceiling and said that he was in the Navy, on the USS Sampson, in the Intelligence Division.  Have you heard of the “Bay of Pigs?”  He said that he figured it was all declassified since it had been more than fifty years ago.

John said that he had of course heard of the Bay of Pigs and the Cuban Missile Crisis.  Bob explained that he was on the Sampson during the blockade and was on a secret mission to topple Castro’s regime. They had trained Cuban exiles in Guerilla warfare.  Bob lifted his eyes and shook his head, he said it didn’t go well, those men were either killed or captured.  The mission was a huge failure that took just two days to unfold.

That was a long time ago, Bob has spent his life living, loving, and caring for others.  His service as a young man made that unbreakable connection to the men and women that serve so selflessly in the United States Armed Forces.

At the age of 85, his work has come full circle, and he must retire due to health concerns.

Carol has picked up the reins and will continue to help Alabama’s veterans.

We honor Robert Wheeler with this Freedom and Service Award; and we thank him for his unselfish dedication to the mission of helping veterans in need.

May God Bless Robert Wheeler!

The Bay of Pigs | JFK Library

uss sampson cuban missile crisis bay of pigs – Bing images\