About a dozen homeless veterans staying at Home of the Brave in Milford received a free lunch this weekend as a token of appreciation from local teachers.
“These vets have done so much for us and yet they don’t get the thanks that they deserve,” said Cyndi McDougall, a special education teacher in the Milford School District. “We just wanted to let them know that we’re thinking of them and they are not alone,”
An Air Force veteran who served in Operation Desert Storm, McDougall is also a member of the local chapter of Alpha Delta Kappa, an international sorority of women educators. The Epsilon chapter, one of eight in Delaware, is made up of teachers from the Milford, Lake Forest and Indian River school districts.
Chapter president Louise O’Bier, a retired first grade teacher in the Milford School District, said the organization provided Saturday’s lunch with the assistance of Burgers ‘N Beans in Milford, as well as baked goods and donations of sheets and blankets.
“We conduct an altruistic program in the community once a month, and when it comes to November, it’s a given that we’ll be coming here to Home of the Brave for Veterans Day,” she said, adding that this is the third year the organization has provided a lunch to veterans at the shelter on Sharps Road.
This is the 20th year that the 15-bed shelter has been providing has provided temporary housing and transitional services to homeless veterans.
“Some of us [veterans] end up going through some tough times, so it’s very meaningful that someone would come show their appreciation for what we’ve done,” said Michael Malpass, a Navy veteran from Dover who was living out of his car before arriving at Home of the Brave in late October.
Vietnam-era Army veteran Edward Lang from Dover said it was emotionally rewarding to be thanked for his service.
“When we came home from Vietnam, there weren’t cheering us on and no one came around to thank us,” he said. “Just knowing somebody cares today really helps to make up for that.”
Members of the Veteran of Foreign Wars’ Cootie organization also donated gift cards to the men at Home of the Brave on Saturday, while the American Legion Post 2 in Dover and Post 14 in Smyrna dropped off donations on Sunday, according to Home of the Brave executive director Linda Boone.