Employees at Jackson's Sonny Montgomery VA Medical Center say their live-in veterans have a tough time buying gifts for Christmas. This year, the store is coming to them. The items are all donated and all completely brand-new!
"The veterans that can't get out and shop for their families, they can come in, they can shop for whoever they want," explains Chandra D'avy, a volunteer.
And while volunteers say the gifts are also free for veterans, the experience is giving responsibilities back to them.
"Maybe five, six years ago, they were working males, and they were taking care of their family, supporting their family, and buying everything," explains Cathryn Roy, the VA's recreation therapy supervisor. "Well, all of a sudden, now they're unable to work, or they're too old to work now, and they don't have the resources. So we thought it would be a good ego-building for them that once again they're the 'man of the house', and they can say 'here, my darling, this is something I got for you'."
Also at the VA Saturday, Nashville recording artist Michelle Murray performed as part of a 22-hospital tour. She's also promoting her new movie about the life of a man with a disability called "Across the Finish Line." She admits she is tired, but the veterans she continues to meet keep her going.
"You know, I feel that they're always thanking me," says Murray. "I got a coin in Ohio from a CEO the other day that said 'Thanks for wowing our veterans', and I just felt like they absolutely wowed me. I felt like it was the exact opposite. So I feel like there's that factor of just being so grateful."
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