WEST FORK, Ark. (KNWA) — 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.
“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.
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.
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:
- Salute Foundation Inc. – www.salutefoundation.org
- Sheep Dog Impact Assistance – https://sheepdogia.org/
- 7hills Homeless Center – https://7hillscenter.org/hope/
- Concerned Veterans for America: https://cv4a.org/
- Veterans Health Care System of the Ozarks – https://www.fayettevillear.va.gov/
- Veterans of Foreign Wars Posts – https://www.vfw.org/find-a-post
- Northwest Arkansas Community College: https://www.nwacc.edu/veteranresources/resourcesandtools/veteransresources.aspx