Lakeside

American Veterans Tribute

I have been privileged to serve on the Board of Directors of the American Veterans Tribute Organization. It is an organization dedicated to bringing awareness to the plight of our veterans. Our annual event is on the 4th of July weekend.  AVTO selects a veteran or two and spends the holiday weekend honoring their service and sacrifice.

This year’s event will be on July 3 and will be featuring live music, a fly-by, parachute jumpers, special awards and a culminating firework show and live band finale of the AVT Band. Our honoree will be Steve Foster who is a United States Army veteran. Steve has been an active part of the American Veterans Tribute event and now will have his day to be honored. Steve is an incredible individual and is an inspiration to us all since he has contracted a very serious ALS disease and is currently in a wheelchair. We are excited to honor this amazing individual in this year’s event.

Conceptual image of waving American flag and light beam with abstract lights over blue background

Our country is still experiencing a high rate of suicides due to post-traumatic stress among our veterans, approximately 18 per day. In all the political turmoil in our country we sometimes forget the serious needs of those – in the care of our government, and their families – still suffer daily with this horrid brain dysregulation. This is a consequence of their service and we owe them a great debt of gratitude as well as quality care.

The AVT tribute is just a start of what we can do. We can provide help and hope for their families by providing a place for them to recover from their treatment process. One option for veterans is to stay at the AVT Veteran’s House on Lake Gaston, Va. The AVT Organization is working to raise funds to develop more therapeutic healing places for our veterans and their families.

The AVT event is very special and is totally seen from a cove at Lake Gaston. We have seen up to 20,000 individuals come in boats to enjoy the day of declaration of our freedom by honoring veterans. This year we will also acknowledge the 20th anniversary of the 911 attack which was devastating to so many Americans. It started a war on terror that endures to this day.

I hope all of you have an enjoyable 4th of July. I hope we also will remember those who paid the price for the very freedom we are enjoying. I will be enjoying this beautiful setting in Lake Gaston where thousands of individuals will come together to enjoy a very special day of raising awareness to those who have served our country. They certainly deserve our appreciation and to be honored.

Gerry Vassar

President/CEO

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