Veterans honor guard seeks funds to fix van
December 5, 2017
The Northern Nevada All Veteran Honor Guard is in dire need to repair its van in order to continue transporting veterans to appointments or transport honor guard members to conduct military funerals.
Jim Jackson, commander of the honor guard, said Monday the organization needs to repair its 2002 van, which could cost upward to $15,000.
"We need to replace the fuel injectors as soon as we can for about $3,500," Jackson said, "then, we'll look at more."
He said a replacement vehicle could cost as much as $150,000, but he feels confident all repairs can be done for under $15,000. Jackson said he is nervous the van could break down if members are going to a funeral to perform honor-guard duties, or a driver breaks down driving up to Lake Tahoe to assist a veteran with transportation to an appointment.
Jackson said the honor guard is under the umbrella of American Legion High Desert Post 56 in Carson City, and members are certified by the U.S. Department of Defense to provide funeral honors in both Nevada and part of California.
In a letter sent to various businesses including auto dealerships in the Reno-Carson City area, Jackson said the honor guard provides, on average, 50 funerals and honor guard services each year. Members donate their time for the nonprofit organization.
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"Our current transportation to and from most of these events is a shuttle bus that currently has over 170,000 miles with broken windows, peeling decals and leaks when it rains," he said in his letter.
Jackson said most funeral homes in the area ask for their services, and he said they include a provision for the family to donate to the Northern Nevada All Veteran Honor Guard if they so desire.
The Carson City veterans' group serves a large area from central Nevada to northeastern California. Jackson said they transport veterans to appointments in Reno from as far away as Hawthorne, 70 miles south of Fallon, and Susanville, 90 miles north of the Truckee Meadows.
Jackson said the Northern Nevada All Veteran Honor Guard has contacted many businesses such as Carson City car dealerships, large employers and casinos.
"Many have responded by saying 'it's not in our budget,'" Jackson said. "We did receive a donation from Pioneer Crossing."
Jackson, though, said many businesses have also not replied. He said the organization recently established a GoFundMe page at http://www.gofundme.com/VeteransFinalHonors and is looking at several foundations.
To contact Jackson, call 209-740-5627.