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The Warrior's Christmas Tale

Blanket and clothing drive supports local troops, vets

Blankets help veterans at both the VA and Rescue Mission of Tacoma. Photo courtesy NA2EVS

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The National Alliance to End Veteran Suicide (NA2EVS) is sponsoring Blankets for Hope Dec. 17-18.  The blanket and clothing drive is one chapter or event as part of the annual Warrior's Christmas Tale.  According to Tony Dayton, president of NA2EVS and an Iraqi War veteran, "Every veteran has a tale that they could tell, however, it is our wish that during the Christmas season that they are able to write a new tale of what is possible in community."

Blankets for Hope takes place Dec. 17-18 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. each day in the Krispy Kreme parking lot at the Tacoma Mall.  NA2EVS is collecting new socks and undergarments and new or gently used: blankets, coats, sleeping bags, small tarps, hats, gloves/mittens and single-use hand warmers.  These items are for the whole veteran's family to include men, women and children sizes.

NA2EVS founder, Rod Wittmier, said, "People often ask me what they can do to help.  Everyone can go into their closet and pack up unused clothing and blankets and bring it to the Krispy Kreme parking lot.  You don't need to be a vet to make a difference.  Vets have served us and now you can serve them. No one can do everything but everyone can do something."

Rod's wife Linda Wittmier, cofounder and treasurer of NA2EVS, shared a story from last year's Blankets for Hope, "Our volunteers were receiving clothing during December's winter weather when a family walked near and then stopped. One of them, a young girl around 10 years old, looked at her family for their approval, then approached our tent. She asked, "Are you accepting coats for the children of our homeless veterans?" Our team responded with, "Yes of course." She then took the coat off her back and handed it to our team. The volunteers all started to cry and got that there is hope in our nation."         

NA2EVS is also using social media to get the word out through their "Show Us Your 22" Campaign that an average of 22 veterans take their lives each day.  You may have seen people on Facebook participating in 22 pushups for 22 days to raise awareness. Go to for more ways you can use social media to further this cause.

"Cash donations are always welcome.  We buy bus tickets so vets can get to the VA.  We are still in need of table sponsors for our Feast of Valor dinner for our veterans on December 11, 2016. Twenty dollars will pay for a veteran's dinner or two hundred dollars funds a table of ten veterans," said Rod.  He also wants any veterans who may be reading this to know, "You are not alone; you are loved and there are resources ready to support you."  NA2EVS is a nonprofit 501(c)3, tax ID 46-4921338, and donations are tax deductible.

Blankets for Hope, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Dec. 17-18, Krispy Creme parking lot, Tacoma Mall, 4302 Tacoma Mall Blvd., Tacoma, 253.256.2015,

Donations: Online or Mail.  Checks made out to:  National Alliance to End Veteran Suicide

P.O. Box 1564, Buckley, WA 98321
Phone: 253.256.2015

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