With the holiday season underway, the Richard I. Bong Veterans Historical Center is giving back again this year to the veteran community. “Without our veterans being around to share their stories, it makes it really hard for us to do our work and meet our mission,” states Executive Director Dustin Heckman. “That is why we do as much as we can from Thanksgiving to Christmas to give back to the veteran community in a positive way.” After serving over 200 meals on Thanksgiving Day, the Bong Center is continuing to find ways to give back.
The first opportunity allows the Twin Ports area to help out and say thank you to veterans at the Minnesota Veterans Home in Silver Bay. Through December 21, the Center will be taking in donations for the residents of the Veterans Home in Silver Bay to meet their every day needs. “These basic items go a long ways and the residents are so appreciative of whatever we can bring them,” says Heckman. Staff at the Center enjoy making the annual delivery and seeing the faces on the residents and staff light up. Donations do not need to be wrapped, just drop them off during regular hours at the Bong Center. A full list of items needed at Silver Bay can be found here.
Beginning Monday, December 14, the Center will be handing out MREs to veterans in need. Through a partnership with the Military Heritage Collection of North Texas, a total of 96 cases containing 14 meals each were acquired for this effort. “We know there are veterans struggling right now and if we can provide them with a ready made meal, it can go a long way during these winter months,” says Heckman. Distribution will be held during regular hours at the Center until the meals are all gone. Meals will be given out on a first-come, first-serve basis and can only go to veterans based on the program requirements that made the MREs available to the Center and MHCNT. The Bong Center would especially like to thank Ryan Kern of Kern and Kompany for making the connection and securing the MREs as well as the team at Halvor Lines for retrieving the meals from Dallas, TX and delivering them to the Center. “The folks at Kern and Kompany and Halvor Lines are great supporters of the Center. We appreciate them so much for stepping up and helping to make this happen. It would not have happened without them,” stated Heckman.
The Bong Center once again would like to express their appreciation to all veterans for their service and sacrifice to our country. Help the Bong Center make these holidays better for all veterans!