Country music star Charlie Daniels has always made helping veterans a priority of his, which is why it should come as no surprise that he’s doing that once again during the coronavirus pandemic.
Daniels’ nonprofit The Journey Home Project has teamed up with the nonprofit Code of Vets to ask for donations for veterans suffering from PTSD, traumatic brain injuries (TBI), hunger, homelessness and mounting unemployment amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We have combined forces with Code of Vets on other occasions to provide help for our veterans – so this isn’t our first experience working with these great people,” Daniels told Fox News. “One major reason is that the needs and the amount of vets falling through the cracks has drastically increased as the veteran population gets laid off from their jobs and, due to the present condition of the economy, many traditional sources find themselves short of funds limiting the places they can go for help.”
Daniels went on to praise Gretchen Smith, a veteran of the U.S. Air Force who founded Code Of Vets.
“Another reason is that Gretchen Smith and her husband, Joe, are ex-military and have a rapport with veterans that gives them the ability to ferret out the most immediate needs and Code of Vets can address those needs in a timely manner,” the 83 year-old singer said.
Code of Vets has been helping veterans with a variety of issues since long before coronavirus even existed, and Daniels thinks his nonprofit can assist them in helping veterans through this pandemic.
“The only thing that holds them back is funding and that’s where we come in,” Daniels explained. “Although our funds are also limited, we feel that one of the most meaningful ways to disburse them is by sharing with Code of Vets.”
While Daniels made sure to pay tribute to healthcare workers and first responders, he questioned the way the government has allocated funding during this crisis.
“The money that Congress recently earmarked for the Kennedy Center and the Endowment for the Arts, could have alleviated the suffering of hundreds of thousands of veterans,” he said. “Yes, I’d say they are being overlooked, or ignored is more like it.”
“It is no longer business as usual. The urgency of these needs require all of our resources all of the time, and we need more Americans to step up for our veterans as they did for them,” agreed Smith. “The mental health situation in the veterans community is always critical, even in the best of times. There is an average of 22 veteran suicides a day and the current crisis can only serve to further exacerbate the existing problems, so I’d say it’s paramount.”
We applaud Daniels for stepping up to help veterans once again! We could certainly use more celebrities with hearts like his in the world.