OSCEOLA, Iowa — Gilbert True Value Hardware in Osceola will welcome the public for some food and a fundraiser on Saturday to help support disabled veterans.
The event will support Veterans Casting Away Disabilities, an annual event held each May at Honey Creek Resort to get disabled veterans together for some fishing, card playing and conversations.
“These events are life-changing events for our veterans,” said Kirt Sickles, the event's founder. “Folks don’t understand that going fishing for a lot of these folks is a challenge, and to get them out on the water and do something like that is something they can’t do by themselves.”
“Disabled veterans are a close group. They’ve got different stories to talk about and different needs that they need to visit about,” said Randy Brown, a disabled Vietnam veteran, who farms north of Osceola. “What I like about the event is it gets the veterans out of their homes and kind of shows them that they can be part of society. They don’t need to be housebound. It gives them that opportunity to come out and be with other disabled veterans.”
Gilbert True Value Hardware is hosting the event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday and will be serving up hot dogs, hamburgers, chips and ice cream for $5. Veterans eat for free.
The community has pitched in to help Thompson and their employees pull off this event.
“We are turning this into an event center because at the Gilbert family businesses we’ve supported this for the last three years,” said Steve Gilbert. “Randy’s a good friend of mine. He invited me to come along and volunteer. What I found out is I learned a lot much more from them that they got for me.”
“Veterans that have been housebound wouldn’t come out of the house for three, four or even five years, and we’ve gotten them out and to a sense changed their lives,” said Sickles.