'Get Wet for a Vet' event raises thousands for local veterans

Veterans helping other veterans.

Hundreds of people came out Saturday to the fourth annual Get Wet for a Vet event that raises money for local veterans.

The name came from a dunk tank.

“We were trying to think of something to do…and a gentleman said, I have a dunk tank, so call it get wet for a vet, and it stuck,” said veteran and event founder Bob Saros.

Now, it draws hundreds of people each year. And while they have a morning bike ride, music, corn hole, and more, the real reason so many people show up is to help out our heroes.

“I’ve always felt a sense of responsibility to try to help out our veterans…it’s a chance to kind of bring everybody together, and we collectively organize our resources to help veterans,” said Kent Laudeman, the director for Millers’ Veteran Center.

One of the groups helping veterans is the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association.

“You name it we do it, really. It’s all about helping our vets in a time of need,” said local CVMA commander Jim Methard.

Over 250 motorcycles rode from the North Liberty VFW to the one in Mishawaka Friday morning to kick off the event, all to support those who served our country.

Jim says 22 veterans commit suicide every day.

“It kind of touches you when you go to see somebody and you remember them from the last year, and then they’re not there, and you go wow,” said IN state representative for CVMA, Rick Pratt.

Others are just struggling to find their worth, and this event helps them do that.

“They finally come to the conclusion that they are worth something and people do appreciate them, and that’s a very valuable thing to a person that has nothing,” said the 95-year-old Robert Miller, who founded Miller’s Veteran Center back in 2009.

With more than 400 hundred veterans and non-veterans at the event today, founder Bob Saros says he couldn’t be prouder.

“It’s a great honor to help somebody that allowed us the freedom that we have today,” said Bob.

The goal is to raise $25,000 this year, and Bob thinks they can do it. That money will be split between the foundation they’ve supported for the last three years, Miller’s Veteran’s Center, the Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association, and the Disabled Veterans Association.

He says the DVA desperately needs a van to transport local vets to hospitals and treatment centers.

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