HOW VetsNiteOut STARTED in 2008:
Shortly after going to work for the Tennessee State Veterans Home, Linda Martin-Peoples noticed a lot of the Veterans just sitting around in the hallways in their wheelchairs ... kind of dozing, doing not much of anything, and looking very bored.
WHAT WAS WRONG WITH THIS PICTURE?
Certain things were clear from the start:
1. These were the men and women who had served our great country - the ones who had helped secure our very freedom!
2. This was no doubt the "last stop" for many of them.
3. And, while they were getting great care, they did not seem to be having much fun!
Discussing her concerns with her husband, Richard Peoples, Sr., they decided that something DEFINITELY had to be done!
Richard immediately started working on creating a whole network of Veterans and friends ... and shortly thereafter, in 2008, VetsNiteOut was born! He went around to tons of restaurants in Murfreesboro, Smyrna and LaVergne, TN, asking them if they would consider "treating" the Vets once a month to a nice meal and a couple beers ... absolutely free of charge, of course. And, most said they would be honored!
Then he got with all his "Biker friends" (groups, clubs, organizations - most of which are Veterans anyway) to help support VetsNiteOut, and people started showing up at the Veterans Home with everything from t-shirts and underwear to pizza, cigarettes and beer ... or just to sit down and visit! (Oh...and you should see CHRISTMAS! Now THAT is an EVENT - goes on all month long!! Same with Veterans Day - which lasts all month!)
And thanks to donations from our fantastic supporters, we've been able to continually meet just about any need or wish that our Veterans have had so far!
It has been an awesome ride ... one that will hopefully continue forever!
As many of you know, Rich was diagnosed with kidney cancer in 2013 and has had both kidneys removed. He is currently on Dialysis 3 days a week and is doing fine...he is just not able to be as active as he used to be. But fortunately, all his buddies and volunteers still are, so VNO prevails!! (UPDATE: See "