Small Town News


Oracle group collects donations for homeless vets

San Manuel Miner of San Manuel, Arizona

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Oracle, Arizona-Recently, the Oracle Neighborhood Watch (ONWA) delivered the first of what is hoped to be many truck loads of food, clothing and hygiene supplies to the homeless veterans of American Armed Forces, who dwell in a camp near Santa Rita Park in Tucson. Said a representative of ONWA: "The only thing that we forgot was to take a camera to get photos of our unloading the phenomenal amount of donations that were contributed by many of Oracle's finest residents.

"The looks on the faces of those vets and staff when we started unloading the supplies can only be described as complete astonishment.... It was quite obvious that the idea of fellow citizens from a small town like Oracle, could be so generous, to take the time and sacrifice so much, was worth every effort made and we should all take great pride, knowing that we did a little to help these former warriors and to acknowledge their own sacrifice."

After arriving in the camp and unloading supplies, three ONWA participants relieved some of the camp staff to allow them a few hours of sleep. The camp is staffed solely by volunteers, many of whom are averaging three to four hours of sleep per night. This includes one woman, name currently unknown, who is a mother of four and a full-time Department of Justice agent, who works five or six nights a week on security patrol and the gang-ridden Santa Rita Park and the base. She also takes food and supplies to veterans living outside the base.

Another woman, a Captain from Davis Monthan Air Force Base, donates her time to go out and do the same. Then, there are the two patriots who drive all the way from southern California to assist at the camps.

An ONWA representative stated; "Tonight, what we saw, was true patriotism in action and the self sacrifice of several concerned citizens, trying to give back to other citizens that have sacrificed much, to allow us the freedoms that we enjoy today.

Sue and Jerry Parra, of Sue and Jerry's Trading Post on American Avenue in Oracle, are also volunteers, in allowing their store to be used as a collection point for donated items. If you have clothing, personal hygiene items, food, or other items that could help help these veterans, donations can be dropped off at Sue and Jerry's Trading Post during regular business hours. The donation drive will extend through the holiday, and donations will be transported to the camp by ONWA members. Camp Bravo, set up by Veterans On Patrol (VOP) is located on private property at 20th Street and Jacobus Avenue near Santa Rita Park The VOP is based in the Phoenix/Tucson area. They also have "Camp Alpha" located in the Phoenix area. These camps provides shelter, food, personal hygiene items, and all-volunteer staff to provide support with case management, safety and general welfare for the veterans. This includes securing counseling, when needed.

Lewis Arthur, founder of Veterans on Patrol stated: "You don't get paid but you get to see that person get to a home and that's better than any paycheck I could write anybody, to be honest with you," For more information on Operation Vet Rescue, seek out Oracle Neighborhood Watch Alliance and Veterans On Patrol, both via Facebook.

Copyright 2015 San Manuel Miner, San Manuel, Arizona. All Rights Reserved. This content, including derivations, may not be stored or distributed in any manner, disseminated, published, broadcast, rewritten or reproduced without express, written consent from SmallTownPapers, Inc.

Original Publication Date: November 4, 2015

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