American Legion Gets VSO Donation To Support Local Veterans Programs

When Veterans Support Organization (VSO) goes into a community, the group not only gives jobs to local residents but also donates money to worthy local causes.

Case and point: VSO donated $1,000 this May to the American Legion Post 81 in Melbourne, Fla. The funds will be used for programs in the community that honor, promote, and support local veterans.

Richard VanHouten, founder and CEO of VSO, said the money donated to American Legion was raised by VSO employees who live in nearby Stuart, Fla. And, he added, the money raised was also used to pay those employees, who are mostly veterans themselves, as well as give to organizations like American Legion.

“We raised the money locally and have supported local veterans organizations,” VanHouten said.

VSO donated the money on May 26 shortly after VanHouten and his employees got to know a member of the American Legion who they met outside a store in Melbourne. The American Legion member told them about the work his group was doing in the area to help veterans.

“What the American Legion is doing in Melbourne is absolutely fantastic, and VSO wanted to support them as much as possible,” VanHouten said. “This is what we do: we raise money locally and then support local veterans and organizations. We are very proud that we’ve been able to do that for so many years.”

Over the years, VSO has donated tens of thousands of dollars to veterans’ organizations to improve living conditions for thousands of veterans who have struggled to find work, housing and social services after returning home from military service.

Pictured in the photo, from left to right, are: Thomas Pawell (VSO employee); Tracy "Stretch" Spence (American Legion post commander); VanHouten (VSO founder and CEO); Austin Kirkeburg (Army veteran, VSO employee); and Chris Cooke (Army veteran and VSO employee).