Amerian Legion Operation Comfort Warriors items were gathered at American Legion Post 102 in Anoka, Minn., for the Minneapolis VAMC. Photo by Justin L. Stewart/The American Legion

Legion OCW grant fills in the gaps

The final stop on The American Legion’s Legacy Run ended with another Operation Comfort Warriors grant to a local Department of Veterans Affairs facility.

At Edward B. Cutter Post 102 in Anoka, Minn., American Legion National Commander Denise Rohan presented the Minneapolis Veterans Affairs Medical Center with an OCW grant totaling $4,500. The grant was facilitated by Post 102 and presented during the Legacy Run stop on Aug. 23.

The grant will reach across several VA programs, including at the Minneapolis VA Health Care System’s Polytrauma Rehabilitation Center. The center is one of five facilities in the country designed to provide acute, inpatient rehabilitative care to veterans and active-duty servicemembers who have experienced severe injuries. Samsung tablets were part of the grant that will help patients at the polytrauma center re-develop hand-eye coordination.

“It’s very important because it’s part of their rehabilitation,” said Edmond Bates, a volunteer services assistant at the Minneapolis VAMC. “Having access to that kind of equipment that … can help elevate and speed up their process and rehabilitation. To be able to have something of that sort … is very important.”

The grant also will provide for entertainment items and clothing for three of the facility’s other programs: homeless veterans, women veterans and residential living.

“It’s extremely important,” Bates said of the OCW grant. “It’s important that they have somewhere they can go to get that type of assistance. A lot of the grants they give … they’re from our needs list, which is the one that’s utilized the most.

“We have individuals that come into the hospital with (ragged) clothes, and when they leave they need something more. And for those folks that need to stay as residents, they don’t have that. The American Legion is filling in that gap that is being missed by funding. It’s very important.”