Veterans Resource Fair shares opportunities for those who served

Kiralynn Edmondson

Many organizations from all over Orange County came to inform veterans of the resources that are available to help vets reach the goals they dream about and to achieve the necessities they need.

Of the many organizations there was a couple who had been married for 46 years. Husband Len Rugh, who is a Vietnam vet, was a student at Saddleback College after the war.  In 1985, he began to write about his experience.

On Wednesday Rugh and his wife Luanna were promoting their book, “Promises Kept,” published in 2009 for students and vets at the college.

The book was authored by Len Rugh and his wife helped to put it together as well as contribute letters her husband sent to her from Vietnam.

“Many veterans have told us that they cannot talk to their kids about the Vietnam War,” Luanna Rugh said. “But after they read this book, they handed it down to their kids because they felt that the book said it all.”

Patriots for Paws, a nonprofit for returning veterans, took part in the Fair. The organization collects donations and rescued pets and helps active military and veterans to be more comfortable by donating the goods to them.

“Veterans are not taken care of, they get out of war and have nothing,” said Arron Kaili, director of Veterans Affairs for Patriots and Paws.

Commander Jim Torres, a representative for the Orange County chapter of Veterans Serving Veterans, chatted with the people who stopped at his booth. Torres, who was drafted to Vietnam in 1969, helps veterans fill out paperwork for benefits, housing, education, job avocation and lawyers.

Team AMVETS, a  nonprofit organization devoted to California vets and their families, also attended the fair. The organization has thrift stores all over California in which they collect donations like appliances, clothing, shoes and bedding. These donations help support veterans and their families.

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