Veterans reaching out to veterans

11/16/2008 12:00 AM

11/14/2008 8:05 PM

Matthews commissioner Bill Dixon recently was involved in several events honoring veterans. But now that Veterans Day is over, he wants to make sure folks remember veterans the other 364 days of the year.

As an Army paratrooper from 1956 to 1969, Dixon served in the Korean and Vietnam wars. He says those years help him appreciate even more those who served before and after him.

He currently heads Matthews American Legion Post 235. With more than 200 members, the organization wants to reach veterans who need help.

“Our motto is ‘Veterans still serving veterans,'” Dixon says. “I was at a function on Monday and I met two veterans that needed medical care because of incidents that happened to them when they were in the service years ago. Those are the folks we want to reach.”

He says Mecklenburg and surrounding counties have the ninth-largest population of veterans in the country – 175,000.

Post 235 also assists with ROTC programs at Butler, Providence, East Mecklenburg and Sun Valley high schools. It leads a group working to establish the Military Armed Forces Museum of the Carolinas. It hopes to partner with the Town of Matthews to put the museum in the old Bradford Clinic Building, now owned by the town at the edge of Stumptown Park.

Dixon says he's hopeful the museum's first phase will open in late summer 2009.

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