During a rural outreach visit to Koyukuk, Alaska, an Alaska Native veteran knocked on the door of the house Amanda Marr, program lead of Alaska Warrior Partnership (AKWP), was staying at while visiting the village. This warrior had served in the Gulf War era in the Army National Guard and was eligible for retirement pay as he neared 60 years old, but was visually impaired and was having trouble filling out the application for military retirement. It had been years since any agency or assistance had come to this village, and veterans there were feeling forgotten. He heard over the radio that Amanda Marr was there to meet veterans and connect them to resources, so he reached out while she was in town.
He presented a postcard from Department of the Army reminding him to apply for his entitled retirement pay, and the application packet mailed to him the year prior. We scribed for the warrior and supported him in filling out the paperwork, and helped answer questions he had about form terminology. We made copies at the community center and provided them to him for his record, and put it all together for him in a postage paid envelope to go out the next day.
“A lot of agencies make promises, but you really came here to help." - The Gulf War veteran
This success isn’t just about this one warrior being helped in rural Alaska—it’s about a whole community that was shown, through proactive outreach, that their veterans and caregivers are known and remembered. Through AKWP, they now have an advocate and liaison between rural Alaska and the resources available to them, and can contact AKWP throughout their lives for holistic support.
With support from caring and passionate donors, Alaska Warrior Partnership (AKWP) continues empowering our community to empower our veterans. Please consider making a donation today to AKWP. Your generous, tax-deductible contribution supports AKWP's collaborative work throughout Alaska to meet veterans where they are, ensuring they are connected to all the resources and opportunities they have earned.