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Serving others is a privilege

I am Jerry E. Hartson, a disabled, retired U.S. Navy veteran beginning my 36th year as a volunteer at the Superior Salvation Army, 916 Hughitt Ave. I give back to my community what the Corp. has given me; they saved my life and stabilized me so I can say I have 36 years because they cared.

When I came home after my service of my country, I was retired because I got hurt bad and was disabled from my tour. I was also homeless and scared. I didn’t know what to do. I couldn’t even get food stamps.

I told the VA. It took me four years to get my pension, medical boards to make sure I was disabled, to receive a pension. As a result of my injuries, the Salvation Army in Superior, my hometown, gave me a bag of food and a blanket and that was 36 years ago, and I never looked back.

What a great organization to donate your time, food and money to so they can meet all kinds of needs from A-Z for those experiencing economic hardships from being laid off, losing jobs. I’m sure we all know what stress and worry is, and know the Salvation Army’s reputation for helping families in need and veterans is 100 percent real. We have a great thrift store, pet food, soap bar and food shelf to help ease some of the stress of what life throws at you. They are mobilized in disasters like Hurricane Sandy.

I use my disability to tell and show other veterans that were still in the game to give. To give of yourself is priceless as you get back more, like compassion to know you helped a stranger ease their pain to the best of your ability. God knows our hearts.

They also have great programs like RBA for young kids that learn to share and work together. Plus, there is summer camp.

I have met many folks in my years and they are so grateful for caring for their needs. If we can’t help you, we try to point you to another organization where your needs will be met.

It’s a privilege to be a volunteer for the Salvation Army as they do so much to help the human needs of people. They also visited me and veterans in VA hospitals, and are ready to help us feed the need of hunger and loneliness and always given to try to ease human suffering of any type.