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Source: Kokomo Perspective

Veterans Memorial Corp. donates to Fire Department

Nonprofit donates 743 9-volt batteries to KFD’s smoke detector program, replaces POW/MIA flag

Alyx Arnett

Veterans gave back to their fellow servicemen last week.

Jerry Paul, president of the Howard County Veterans Memorial Corporation at Darrough Chapel Veterans Memorial Park, and board member Carol Wills dropped off 743 9-volt batteries and a new POW/MIA flag at the Kokomo Fire Department.

“It’s just veterans giving back to their community to help the Fire Department to help people,” said Paul.

The batteries will be used by the Fire Department for their smoke detector program that provides batteries to those who can’t afford them.

KFD chief Nick Glover said the batteries were appreciated.

“Your smoke detector won’t work without them. We recommend everybody change their batteries at least once a year. Some people can’t afford to go out and buy them because they’re fairly expensive,” he said.

The batteries were donated to the HCVMC by four Family Dollar stores. While the nonprofit received all types of batteries, Paul said he spent three days sorting out the 9-volts to donate to the Fire Department.

“We talked to the chief and knew they had this smoke detector program, so we thought this was a great idea,” said Paul.

The batteries were donated by Family Dollar at 122 N. Hammer St., Greentown, with manager Maria Bowland; Family Dollar at 915 N. Washington, Kokomo, with manager Angie McKinney; Family Dollar at 1309 E. Morgan St., Kokomo, with manager Andrew John; and Family Dollar in Marion managed by Justin Cook and Robert Foland.

The HCVMC was adopted by area Family Dollars last year, and the stores have since collected donations from customers such as batteries, cookies, and toilet paper, said Paul. Paul has disperse those donations to several area veteran and other civic groups, such as Howard Haven, Coordinated Assistance Ministries, Kokomo Housing Authority, Kokomo Urban Outreach, Open Arms, Kokomo Rescue Mission, Family Service Association, and Gilead House.

“It’s been a great program,” said Paul.

The POW/MIA flag was donated as part of an ongoing program by the HCVMC. Every time the flag begins to wear out, the nonprofit delivers a new one to the Fire Department.

“We’re trying to be more than a monument organization. We want to be known as people who do stuff out in the community for our community,” said Paul. “As veterans, we have this common mindset between fire fighters and police officers. Your veterans fight for their country, and the others serve their community and have dangerous jobs. There’s a little bit of a brotherhood there. We feel a kinship to them because of what they do in the community.”

Glover said anyone who needs a battery or smoke detector or assistance mounting or changing a smoke detector can call the Fire Department at 457-2636.

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