Local program supports, honors veterans

GRAND ISLAND, Neb. -- Veterans at the VA Medical Center in Grand Island received a tooth brush, deodorant, a deck of cards and more.

This is all part of the Operation Veteran Smiles program that's known for bringing joy to vets.

This is the first year US Cellular participated in the program started by 4-H, which has helped more than four thousand veterans.

The company and other community members wrote cards, put together kits and delivered them to veterans in the medical center.

Vets said they were so surprised and enjoyed the company and kits.

Officials said it's important to honor veterans.

"It's really nice seeing outreach to those specific groups, but more specifically, it's really important to honor and thank service men and service women that literally put their lives at risk, so that we can enjoy a lot of the freedoms that we do," US Cellular Store Manager Martin Rodriguez-Guerrero said.

Officials said their highlight was seeing all of the veterans smiling and excited.

"When you have all these people coming and giving you things it makes their day and it's the first thing in the morning, so they get this gift so they were pretty excited," VA Medical Center Voluntary Service Specialist Jodene Johnson said.

It kind of helps them to know that people are out there for them."

Medical center officials said they appreciate all of the support they've received from the community.

If you want to show support, you are encouraged to donate clothing, phone cards and more.

Officials want people to call before stopping by to make sure they can use the donation.