Veterans say COVID-19 has had an emotional toll on them

Veterans Day celebrated with COVID-19 safety measures in place

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - This year every holiday has been a little different. Usually, people attend parades for Veterans Day, but not this year.

However, community leaders still found a way to honor those who have served.

Veterans Day, a day to honor and thank those who have served our country. This year with COVID-19 changing the course of life veterans say it’s been a tough few months.

“It’s been very difficult, but thank God I’m making it through,” said Veteran Michael Hawkins.

Several shared the emotional toll COVID-19 has taken, saying that’s been the biggest challenge.

“Emotionally a lot, you know can’t do the things I used to do, but the VA has been a blessing,” said Veteran James Trotter.

“Emotionally because I have PTSD, and I don’t get out much so my anxiety is up, and being able to stay in most of the time that’s kinda hard,” said Michael Hale.

“It’s been really physical because you know we’ve been cooped up and staying in the house, we can’t go nowhere,” said Leo Lawson.

Bishop Henry Williamson with Christian Methodist Episcopal Church handed out $100 gift cards to 100 veterans.

He says with the pandemic taking a financial, physical and emotional toll on everyone he wanted to make sure veterans enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday.

“We thought during the pandemic the need is so great. We kept hearing that our veterans were suffering from a lack of resources,” said Williamson.

Over at the Veterans Golfplex and Adaptive Sports Center, the Vietnam Veterans of America local chapter also celebrated. Several vets showed up in a sweet ride.

Organizers say since a parade wasn’t possible they figured giving veterans a safe space to celebrate was the next best thing.

“The reason why we should appreciate Veterans Day is because of what these ladies and gentlemen have sacrificed, that we may be able to live the free life that we live,” said Leonard Perkins, President of the Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter 1113.

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