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American Legion posts team together to help Veterans Home

RESERVE — Four American Legion posts combined their resources to deliver snacks and drinks to the residents of the Southeast Louisiana Veterans Home last week in Reserve.

Visitation and social gatherings have been restricted in veterans homes across Louisiana to combat the spread of the coronavirus. The residents at the Southeast Louisiana Veterans Home in Reserve are confined in their wards, away from public gathering spaces and the vending machines located in the facility.

Business shutdowns from the virus have prevented vendors from coming into the home to restock the vending machines. Administrative Program Manager Charles “Scott” Conner reached out to American Legion Post 383 Commander Allan Reynaud in a time of need.

Volunteers from American Legion posts deliver soft drinks to the Southeast Louisiana Veterans Home.

Reynaud and his wife, Toby, saw the need was bigger than what Post 383 could provide on its own. Phone calls were made, and four American Legion posts responded.

Reynaud teamed up with Commander Gene Franques of Post 396 of Metairie, David Vicknair of Post 377 of Kenner and Cornelius Williams of Post 565 of Vacherie to purchase 25 cases of soft drinks, along with a shopping cart full of snacks.

Reynaud and Franques said that this is what the American Legion is all about.

“These residents can’t see family right now. They can’t have visitors, and it makes it really tough for them,” Reynaud said. “These are the most vulnerable of our population because almost all of these people have underlying health issues. Just being able to make life a little more comfortable and a little brighter for them is more than worth the effort.”

The American Legion posts hope to collaborate again to supply more food to the veterans and to other seniors at residential facilities within the community.

Reynaud recommends that those who want to help support the Veterans Home donate snacks that are individually wrapped to avoid cross-contamination.

According to the Louisiana Department of Veterans Affairs, the following personal protective equipment donations are also being accepted at all five veterans homes across the state: Non-sterile 2- or 3-ply surgical masks; Non-sterile full-body isolation gowns; Medical, non-sterile, latex-free gloves in all sizes, but especially medium and large; N95 masks; and gel hand sanitizer.