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SOURCE Feed Our Vets
UTICA, N.Y., Oct. 22, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- When Richard Synek helped a soldier's wife carry groceries from the Feed Our Vets Watertown food pantry to her car, he didn't expect to walk way in tears.
Her husband, a soldier who recently returned from Afghanistan after being wounded by a roadside bomb, stuck his arm out the car window to shake Synek's hand and thank him for the food. "I was completely overcome that this soldier, who had sacrificed so much, was thanking me when it should have been the other way around," said Synek, the founder and director of Feed Our Vets.
Feed Our Vets, dedicated to ending hunger among struggling American veterans, reports that many active duty soldiers and their families struggle to put food on the table. About 20% of the military members who get help from the Watertown pantry are soldiers and spouses stationed at Fort Drum, home to 19,605 military and 19,810 family members.
"Nearly every time there's a pantry distribution, active duty soldiers and families are lined along with veterans," said Synek.
One soldier's wife traveled to Fort Drum to meet her husband, who had just returned from Afghanistan. Their military housing wasn't yet available, so she and their children had to stay in a motel. That expense strained their finances, and she sought help from the Watertown pantry to feed their children.
"Military spouses face tremendous hardships and often have to put their careers on hold," agrees Congressman Matt Cartwright (D-PA), who co-authored a bill to help spouses more easily re-enter the workforce after a forced relocation.
It's critical the public understand the economic struggles faced by military men and women, said Synek. "Everyone can help these selfless heroes by donating food or funds for food. It may seem like a simple gesture, but it has tremendous impact on these families."
About Feed Our Vets: Feed Our Vets is a nonprofit organization created to provide nutritious food to United States veterans whose circumstances have left them on the battlefield of hunger. The organization operates food pantries in Utica and Watertown, and a mobile pantry that delivers food to underserved veterans in upstate New York. Feed Our Vets also provides education and outreach nationwide to call attention to the needs of struggling veterans. Food Our Vets serves not only veterans, but also men and women still enlisted in the military, along with their families. For more information, visit www.feedourvets.org.
Bill Morgan, Feed Our Vets 315-525-9206
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