POULSBO — Lee Rosenbaum’s smile told it all.
The World War II and Korean conflict veteran and his wife Birty recently visited the Poulsbo American Legion Post 245 Veteran’s Service Office. Like scores of other veterans, Rosenbaum walked away happy because he’d received help he needed.
One day a week, Birger Sather and a handful of volunteers run the tiny office at the Poulsbo Armory, out of which local veterans’ lives are changed.
The Poulsbo office is an offshoot of the Kitsap County Veterans Coalition service office in Bremerton and provides services for veterans, their spouses and children.
Since Jan. 30, about 90 North Kitsap residents have received services like help applying for disability and health benefits and recovering lost records and medals. Widows and widowers of veterans have been assisted with applying for and attaining death benefits. Out of work veterans have also applied for financial help through the Soldiers and Sailors Assistance program of Kitsap County, which provides things like food vouchers and assistance with rent and other bills.
But volunteers from the American Legion are also looking for the community to help them continue the work they’ve done. Donations are being sought that will help provide Sather and his crew with necessary equipment and also to pay for the use of the office in the Poulsbo Armory.
“We’re veterans who are serving veterans and it’s something there’s definitely a need for here,” Sather commented on the office.
On the recent Thursday, Sather helped Rosenbaum apply for VA medical coverage and also to obtain some lost records from his Korean service. Sather said medical and financial help is something he deals with a lot.
“Many elderly (veterans) are faced with the situation where they could buy groceries or take their medicines,” Sather said.
As Rosenbaum shook his Sather’s hand upon leaving the American Legion office, he thanked the volunteers for the work they do and gave them a big smile. The group hopes with the community’s help they’ll be able to provide these kinds of smiles for a long time to come.
“We’ve met some great people here and it’s very gratifying to help them,” commented Ken Nyberg, an American Legion member who volunteers at the office.