JACKSON, Miss. (WJTV) – The G.V. (Sonny) Montgomery VA Medical Center (GVSMVAMC) will hold a water distribution event for veterans and their families on September 2.
The event will be from 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the main facility in Jackson.
The water distribution event is designed to provide assistance to veterans and their families during the ongoing water crisis affecting the City of Jackson. Cases of water will be distributed on a first-come, first-served basis.
“With the flooding that started last week, we immediately activated our incident command to begin calling these vulnerable veterans that we have. The VA designates 13 different categories of vulnerable veterans. We begin to call all of them immediately and ask them what needs they have due to the flooding, which then turned into the water issues in the challenges here in the Jackson area,” explained Kai Mentzer, Jackson VA Medical Center Director.
The water distribution event is scheduled as a contactless drive-thru function, with GVSMVAMC employees and Shared Health Mississippi staff volunteering to distribute cases of water to veterans and caregivers. Leaders expect there to be 20 pallets of water arriving on an 18-wheeler.
Veterans and caregivers will not be required to show proof of identification or Veteran status during the event.
“I take responsibility for the veterans and the care that we provide. It’s important to me that our veterans have their needs met, and one of those needs is the ability to have water and functioning systems within their households. I think it is important for them to have the drinking water available and the ability to sanitize to keep themselves healthy. Emotionally, it’s disheartening that our veterans are going through this right now, but also our employees as well,” said Mentzer
Four sister VA facilities, including Biloxi, Fayetteville, Little Rock, and Houston, have also donated water to the Jackson VA hospital. Community partners, including Shared Health Mississippi and Mississippi Foods, have made donations to contribute to the water supply for veterans as well.
Donations of water can are being accepted by the medical center’s voluntary service program.