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Samuel Vena

 My name is Samuel Vena. I am a veteran from the mid 90's. US Army Ordnance Corps. 45 b, 45 t, 11 b and I have been attached and detached to various units. The usual, demand: "You are now doing this," mostly out of the 1st 37th field artillery at Ft Lewis. I have also served in the Coast Guard for a trial run on prior service individuals to condense basic training at Cape May, New Jersey, and I was stationed out of the Head Quarters in Key West. This was a long time ago, but throughout the years growing up, my father always said to be weary, I decided to know, I had to serve. I love our country. I have seen the neglect and lack of services provided to our veterans because of poor leadership. One of the biggest shocks to me was the transition to civilian life in those days. I have traveled to Korea, Italy, Germany and other places to get outside the box and see the differences of many other cultures. One of the biggest gaps I have seen is: "How do we engage with people in need in this crazy time of virtual communication?" I am also a current member of the Independent Order of Odd Fellows Salida chapter. This is a world wide Fraternal with over 4,800 lodges in 24 countries. The slogan is," We are here to improve and elevate the Character of Mankind." We have occasional pot lucks and donate to local organizations. The virus did radically change things. I am also part of the Salida chapter of the Grange. This is here to help the agricultural aspects of our communities. I bet you didn't know we were here. I have not been active as of late due to the lack of interest in change of our Board. One of the things we have in these two organizations is the lack of younger people joining. The people we have are not interested in a change, and just go through the motions. I have utilized hobbies with some of my friends to break the ice and just have a good time. Rocket building, models and board games, etc. I am also interested in any training that will let me better understand the signs of people in need. I am reading Dexter Pitt's books, and have some basic statistics that are hard to find. Current red flag laws and the stigma against people in need reaching out lead me to believe it will only get harder for people to get help. The values of Faith, Family, and Country, have been eroded in my opinion. 

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