Veteran helping fellow veterans during the COVID-19 pandemic

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WHITESBURG, Ky. (WTVQ) – Darren Atkins served in the army for 14 years. He is Chaplain with the VFW in Whitesburg, Kentucky. When the coronavirus first broke, he immediately looked for a way he could serve his community during the pandemic.

“Nobody can help a veteran, like another veteran,” Atkins said.

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He started Operation Noble Cause around three weeks ago, he works with his friend Amy Noble to create masks, which they donate to disabled veterans and underprivileged children in Eastern Kentucky.

Noble makes the reusable masks and then Atkins personally delivers them to his fellow veterans.

He says there’s no recognition or reward that tops the response he’s gotten.

He says the best reaction he’s gotten so far was from one of the members at his VFW post.

“When a 100-year-old veteran looks you in the eyes with tears filled and tells you thank you for not forgetting about us, there’s no better reward.”

Atkins says the VFW has done so much to help him so there’s no better feeling than knowing he’s doing something positive to help them out.

Through the operation noble cause fundraiser, they have given out 81 masks and raised about $733 to donate to those in need.

Atkins says there are no plans to stop yet. He says his mission ends when there’s no longer a need.

They are in need of toiletry items as well as elastics for the masks.

Atkins says they are currently running low on masks but he said if you know a veteran who is interested in receiving one, o reach out to him through his Facebook or the Whitesburg VFW 5829 Facebook page.

Atkins wants to thank his friend Charlie Amburgey, his wife, and his fellow VFW comrades for all of their support.