More than 500 people came out to support homeless Veterans recently at a benefit for the group Veterans Leadership of North Carolina – Cares (VLC). The “Salute to North Carolina Veterans” raised $250,000, according to a spokesman for the group.
Many purchased tickets and gave them to active duty military or veterans, who attended in their places.
The benefit was organized to raise funds for the Veterans Life Center, a temporary housing facility for up to 400 homeless and at-risk Veterans. The ultimate goal of the group is to reintegrate NC Vets into society as self-reliant citizens.
In addition to the needy Veterans, the night belonged to Governor Pat McCrory. McCrory was sworn-into office earlier in the day in a small ceremony and this was his first official outing in that office.
The Governor was introduced by Captain Tina Shanahan (USN-RC), wife of McCrory Cabinet Secretary Kieran Shanahan.
In his first address as Governor, Pat McCrory discussed the man who he’d most wished most had been at the inauguration he called “emotional”. In discussing his grandfather Walter McCrory, his voice grew soft. Walter McCrory fought in World War I and when it was over, he said he never wanted to see war again. His life had changed because of his experiences.
The Governor also discussed his own father’s involment in Vietnam. His father worked hard, saw horrible things, and when he came home, he thought he’d done a good thing. Yet he was spat on and had to go back to his home in Seattle dealing with the protests on the west coast in such places as Berkley.
He wants the Veterans to be a part of NC’s economic recovery. You can look at these people and pick out potential leaders: you name it, they can do anything. ”If you don’t mind, I’m using you,” he said to a chuckle from the crowd.
McCrory also stated that he wanted his first event to be non-partisan. He encouraged all business owners to say thank you to our Veterans by employing them. He urged his audience to go back and say thank you and say “lets get these people jobs”.
In previous wars, such as the those his father and grandfather fought, non of those men had any psychological treatment. Today, we must take off our blinders and help these service men and women because they have seen the same thing.
He wants the Veterans to be a part of NC’s economic recovery. ”You can look at these people and pick out potential leaders: you name it, they can do anything,” the Governor added.
He finished his remarks, greeted well-wishers, and departed, shortly before the dinner began.
After dinner an auctioneer started auctioning high-end items that had been donated to help raise money for the cause. In total, the dinner brought in $250,000.
To learn more about the VLC, visit their website.