WEB EXTRA: Dinners for Veterans and other non-profits help veterans thrive

FOX24

WEST FORK, Ark. (KFTA) — Rocky Dunlap’s backyard workshop in West Fork is more than a place for the former Navy Sea Bee to use his tools and store his toys

“At times, I have a hard time not to tear up,” says Dunlap.

This garage space also houses something very dear to him — his non-profit.

Rocky Dunlap created non-profit Dinners for Veterans to help struggling vets in Northwest Arkansas and the River Valley.

“We created Dinners for Veterans,” he says proudly.

Hats, shoes, coats, and food are stored in the building, all to offer hope to his military brothers and sisters.

“Slowly every day, helping as many veterans as we can help,” Dunlap says of his non-profit.

Dinners for Veterans directors organize coats to donate to veterans and their families on November 15, 2019, in Fayetteville.

Dunlap served in Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Once back home, he witnessed many veterans fall through the cracks and end up homeless.

“I hate to say it but, yes, I was one of those. And it took me a while to get on my feet,” says the former Sea Bee.

He took action to help. Dunlap and his wife began their mission in the form of holiday meal packs after learning a fellow veteran had nothing to eat on Thanksgiving. In a few years, the non-profit has grown tremendously thanks to the couple’s passion and donations from people across the community. Now, they give more than they ever expected.

“Groceries or help with utility bills, or put new tires on a veteran’s car,” says Dunlap.

For him, a spark of gratitude fanned into a flame of generosity.

“Knowing that we are able to help them in some way, to me, it’s just giving back to them what they have given to us, for this great country, ” he says.

A Dinners for Veterans banner hangs in Rocky Dunlap’s workshop.

He has a message to vets who need a helping hand: “Call us, we’re here.”

On November 15, Dinners for Veterans will be handing out cold-weather gear to veterans and their families at 1106 East Masonic Drive in Fayetteville from 4:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. You will need your military ID.

You can reach Rocky Dunlap to get involved with Dinners for Veterans by visiting https://dinnersforvets.com.

There are other groups supporting veterans and veterans issues in Northwest Arkansas. Here’s a list:

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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