We enjoyed meeting with Dobert Owsley, President, Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 886. Please watch the video that highlights all that the local Chapter does, not only for veterans, but for those in need in our community.
In 1978, The Vietnam Veterans of America was formed to help solve problems that Vietnam Veterans were having that were special to era veterans.
The New Bern Area Chapter 886 has 76 members that meet the First Tuesday of the Month in Bridgeton.
Currently they are working on “The Field of Flags” project. Dobert Owsley says, It’s a “demonstration of honor and thanking the veterans for their sacrifice that they made during periods of war. The Field of Flags is put on display at Union Point Park and it’s normally during the Veterans Day Program. However, this year because of the Hurricane situation, they had to alter this planned event. There will be a display of 100+ flags, lit at night, from Veterans Day thru MumFest. This is a way that the Vietnam Veterans reach out to the public and say thank you for supporting us.”
In addition at their MumFest booth that will be set up in front of the Sudan Temple. They’ll have some “small tags which they can fill out the name of their own, special veteran, with their rank and period of service. In turn they’ll take the tag and put it onto a small 30” flag that will be placed on display on Pearl Harbor Day – Remembrance Day, December 7th”.
They also assist the New Bern Civitans effort to build handicap ramps for those in need.
They participate in the Annual Veterans Day Luncheon.
Dobert says, “We’re very active in the North Carolina Veterans Home in Kinston. We have two special events each year. The most important thing is to sit and talk with veterans. They particularly enjoy children”. Dobert encourages any school groups to visit the home to talk to the veterans.
Dobert is the Chairman of the Craven County Veterans Council and Chapter 886 is very active with the Council.
They work with Religious Community Services (RCS) once a month to feed the homeless in the soup kitchen. They also help RCS during their annual homeless count. Dobert says, “We also provide the homeless with a kind of care package. A backpack with gloves and hats during the cold weather period”. They give the backpacks to the Sheriff’s department and they make distribution.
Dobert said that recently, “we’ve developed a healthcare equipment motor program. We loan out wheelchairs, walkers, crutches, and that sort of thing for those folks in need. It’s not just for veterans; it’s also for the community as we’re a community minded organization”.
They also participate in the annual Memorial Day Service.
Dobert said, “The last thing that we do is the Touch of Home program. It’s a mailing program as a care package of those deployed oversees.” If you have a family member or friend that would like to have a touch of home, please let the Chapter know.
For more information, please call Dobert Owsley at 252-636-5543 or visit the Vietnam Veterans Chapter of America’s New Bern Chapter 886’s Facebook page.