The “Suits For Vets” event was a huge success!! The Tuskegee Airmen Lewis J Lynch Chapter had the opportunity to provide over 500 brand new suits, shirts, ties, belts, and socks to veterans all around the local area surrounding Scott AFB, IL. Some veterans even traveled from over 2 hours away to come get a free suit to help with adjusting and transitioning. Friday afternoon, volunteers poured into Post 850 in O’Fallon and hung up suits and set up tables. The large gathering room was filled with over 400 suits on racks. Multiple tables of ties, sorted by color were matched by tables with belts, a few pocket handkerchiefs and socks. Other tables included other necessities.
On Saturday he doors opened at 9 am but the line formed much earlier. Before the end of the day, a call went out for more suits and shirts. When they arrived they were promptly distributed to the appropriate area. Suits were sleeved in plastic and sent home with new owners.
By the end of the day a huge stack of empty boxes filled an area from floor to ceiling. A much smaller stack of suits waited to be returned. Only a couple of boxes filled with 15 and 16 inch neck shirts remained. The ties and socks all found homes.
The stories however were the true reason. One young man stated that our timing was perfect because he had a job interview soon. An older man commented that he would be dressed appropriately for the next time he had to attend a solemn funeral. Both were challenged to wear the suit a little more often just to remind themselves that they were capable and worthy.
Thank you to H.E.R.O.E.S Care for providing us with these outstanding high quality suits to give to veterans. This give them the ability to present themselves in professional manner with these brand new suits as they navigate the corporate job market. Other organizations who participated included the Vet Center of Swansea; SSVF of Granite City; VSO of the American Legion; Upward Bound from SIUE; a representative of Mike Bost Veteran Outreach and the VA Wholeness Health. Also a special thank you to SGT Charles A Fricke VFW Post 805 O’Fallon IL! Your facility was amazing and we appreciate you letting us use your space to accomplish our mission of getting these suits out to local veterans. Your Post members also lead the way with helping us set up the event, register veterans, and tear down after all was over. Again thank you so much for your time and venue.
Lastly, we can’t forget our sister chapter, Tuskegee Airmen Hugh J. White Chapter, in St. Louis for coming out and helping veterans choose the suit of their liking and making their experience memorable.
Thank you to everyone involved to make this event memorable for many veterans all over. Your generosity and contribution to veterans will not be forgotten especially the SUITS FOR VETS EVENT!!