The Grayson County VA Healthcare Center will, later this month, host a 2K walk to support homeless veterans.
Organized by VA Physical Therapist Julie Rito and Nurse Vanessa Pullen, the seventh annual VA2K will, for the first time, be held in Grayson County at Leitchfield’s James D. Beville City Park on Friday, May 26 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Veterans and their family members, as well as the general public are welcome to participate in the walk, and registration will be held at the park pavilion.
In addition to the show of support for homeless veterans through the 2K, the VA will also be collecting voluntary donations for veterans in need, Rito said.
“We have homeless veterans in Grayson County, sadly,” said Pullen, adding that some even lack a good pair of shoes and socks.
“I think if you’ve worn a pair of combat boots, you should always have a good pair of shoes,” Pullen said.
The VA2K organizers are seeking donations of denture adhesive; chap stick; toilet paper; liquid dish soap; rain ponchos; small backpacks; nail clippers; razors; socks; sunscreen; wet wipes; travel sized soap, toothpaste, tooth brushes, and hand sanitizer; snack size crackers and other snacks; deodorant; bottled water; baby powder; bandanas; and ball caps.
Donations of necessities for the VA2K can be made at the Grayson County VA Healthcare Center, located at 619 West Main St. in Clarkson, Farmers Feed Mill, or T-Shirt Express.
While a special collection of donations is taking place now through the VA2K, Rito said, the VA Healthcare Center will accept donations for veterans in need at any time, year around.
On any given night, there are 39,471 homeless veterans, and approximately 512 of them live in Kentucky.
41 percent of these veterans are between the ages of 31 and 50, and 50 percent have serious mental illness.
Nearly half of all homeless veterans served in the Vietnam era.
For more information about the VA2K, contact Rito or Pullen at 270-589-0296. For more information about services available to veterans in need, visit the Kentucky Department of Veterans Affairs website at veterans.ky.gov.
Reach Matt Lasley at 270-259-9622, ext. 2015.