Veterans helping veterans

When Marine veterans who are part of the Leathernecks Motorcycle Club decide to help other veterans, they go full throttle.

Members from the local Heartland Chapter of the club stopped at Iowa Veterans Home Monday to donate $2,420, dozens of calendars, pairs of gloves and stuffed bears to residents at the home.

“It makes you feel good that you can help out those who served,” said Michael Smith, president of the Heartland Chapter.

The annual holiday donation is made in honor of Lance Corporal Darwin Judge, the Marine from Marshalltown who was one of the last two men from the U.S. killed in the Vietnam War.

“We do this as a memorial to him,” Smith said.

Aimee Deimerly-Snyder, volunteer coordinator at IVH, said the Leathernecks do much more than this annual donation. They are also often called to volunteer at the facility or help the veterans in other ways.

“Anything that we need, we call them,” Deimerly-Snyder said.

Deimerly-Snyder said the donations from the Leathernecks have grown every year. She said the money will go into a recreation account for the veterans at IVH to help with a wide range of activities for them and even clothing.

“It means a lot to the residents,” Deimerly-Snyder said.

Mark Wieland, of the motorcycle group, said they really care about giving back to veterans, both retired and those currently serving, since they are Marine veterans themselves.

Iowa Veterans Home Commandant Jodi Tymeson was there to accept the donations Monday.

“It’s especially nice this time of year,” Tymeson said. “We really appreciate the support of the Leathernecks for our residents.”