KNOXVILLE (WATE) – It’s often said there isn’t enough done for those who have served our country and that is why Joint Operation – a free event aimed at providing veterans and their families with a one-stop shop to access local resources and services – drew hundreds to Chilhowee Park.
“The defense of this nation depends upon those who serve and those who support that service,” said veteran John Dyess.
The Jacob Building was packed with dozens of services, everything from a simple thank you for your service and a firm shake, to service dogs, VA claim assistance, employment, mental health, housing, and the list goes on.
John Dyess is a 30-year veteran himself who tended one of Wednesday’s service tables.
“I say it was a privilege,” says Dyess. “Every day I got to be around heroes, people who’ve bled, suffered and given up a lot for this country.”
Dyess now works to promote and encourage employers to recognize and support the members of their work force who’ve served.
“We kind of call them twice the citizen because they serve in their workforce and when that’s said, they put on the nation’s uniform and participate in the active defense of the United States,” Dyess said. Going on to say there are 30,000 reservists and National Guardsmen on active duty right now, while they carry out their mission, Joint Operation is working to gather a system of support they can come home to.
“It’s to provide service to our veterans,” said Knox County Mayor Tim Burchett. “You know they provide everything for us. One hundred percent of our freedom is due to the men and women who wear our country’s uniform and I think in government, we’ve done a pretty poor job of providing them services.”
Burchett says the cause is simple. We have to take care of our own and veterans are our own.
If you’re a veteran, or you have a loved one who is and they missed today’s Joint Operation event, all of those same services are provided through the Veterans Affairs office in Knox County Monday through Friday.