Around Our Community

How Do We Service Our Senior Veteran Community?

by American Legion Adjutant Mike Hauser

During the last few weeks of 2022 some brainstorming sessions were held to discuss how best to communicate with seniors. The informal meetings, held at Gold Country Senior Services, were attended by various Veteran organizations, Gold Country, The Nevada County Veterans service office, the UNION, KNCO, Yuba Net, The Grass Valley Chamber and a number of other interested organizations.

What became obvious was that communicating with the County’s senior population was a challenge for everyone. Seniors are not typically text, e mail, or internet oriented. Each attending organization also discovered that the others had some solutions to their own senior base’s needs. A problem was posed to the VSO and the solution was made available, for instance. 

Word of the meetings spread and it became obvious that we needed to expand the communications and brainstorming to include and accommodate as many interested parties as physically possible to discuss opportunities, solutions, and service efforts. 

The original conversations were centered around our Veteran population since Nevada County’s ratio is second only to San Diego County’s. Add in family? 20-25,000 is a reasonable base to target. What we need to include, however, is the entire senior population since the County has one of the highest senior bases in the State. 

To help facilitate the effort the American Legion hosted a very large meeting upstairs at the Veterans Center Grass Valley. On Wednesday, February 15th, we staged this get together. Approximately 25 Private, City, County and State organizations were present and represented by 40 + individuals.

Those parties were: Elder Care Providers Coalition,  County Senior Residential Homes and Senior Assistance Group, The American Legion, American Legion Auxiliary, The VFW, Vietnam Veterans of America, Nevada County Stand Down, The Nevada Union High School District, Gold Country Senior Services, Local Boy & Girl Scout troops, Various County Organizations, The Roamin Angels, Alta Sierra Homeowners Assoc., Grass Valley Chamberof Commerce, Nevada County Veterans Service Office, Yuba Net, KNCO, Smarter Broadband, FREED, Dignity Health, Hospice, Pawnie Home care, Victory Village Vet support, Peace Lutheran Church, Abundant Life Church, GVPD, Welcome Home Vets, and the State of California’s Veterans Services Officer.

The meeting went off quite well …as expected. As with the previous two meetings some problems were solved, some solutions suggested and a note was made of who should be included in the next meeting (yes there will be more) because the consensus was the missing organizations were the key to better and more solutions.

You should be quite proud of your Veteran organizations but just as proud of the community which supports us ???….ah….elderly (:>0) Citizens.

Lastly, A big shout out to the Auxiliary and Stand Down. The Girl Scouts had a last minute MAJOR obstacle to their ability to sell cookies. This MAJOR problem was solved after a few phone calls. The team went into action and 30 minutes later the team had the problem solved!

EDITOR’S NOTE: As our club ages, working with other organizations could hold a key to keeping our club vital. As in any group, communication is key. Mike Hauser is also a club member and local business owner. He does have an interest in Veterans and our senior community. Many of our Roamin Angels are also members of the VA and local Elks organizations.