Having a good time to benefit veterans    

Having a good time to benefit veterans    

Brett Davenport, of Bay City, remembers coming home from Iraq, falling on hard times and having to beg for food and money while looking for a quiet cement pad to spend the night.

“You’ve probably seen me begging on a street corner back in the day,” he said.

“I appreciate events that help raise money for veterans,” said Davenport, who spent five months homeless before he was able to turn things around. “Veterans, no one for that matter, should have to live on the streets.”

Helping the cause is the annual United By Sacrifice concert on Sept. 11, in Coleman. This is the 10th annual event; it was cancelled in 2020. The 2019 concert drew about 3,500 people, said Coleman’s Veteran’s Memorial President Randy Zylman.

This year’s concert features The Guess Who. They are joined by Peacemaker and Frame 42. Concert tickets are $25 in advance and $35 at the door. Gates open at noon and the concert starts at 1 p.m. at 501 E. Washington Street.

Zylman, was drafted into the Army and served in Vietnam. He said there are people who say veterans were paid for a job and they knew the dangers. Zylman said the bottom line is not all chose to join, hence the draft. Plus, helping veterans is also part of doing the right thing.

“If a person is injured in war, if they need help – give it to them,” he said. “An important fact of everything is that without soldiers, would you have the freedoms you have today?”

Zylman said there are many reasons veterans return from duty and face difficulties. He said some of them get caught up in a system and can’t get any help, some don’t know help is available or where to turn, and some face demons they haven’t dealt with. There isn’t a black and white answer as to why some face difficulties.

“I hate to see it,” he said. “It’s a sad situation.”

Zylman said all the money raised goes to helping veterans, many who returned from recent overseas tours who have many issues to deal with. The organization keeps nothing from this fundraiser.

In addition to raising money to help veteran charities, Zylman said the concert helps raise awareness about veterans’ needs. Whether people are going to have a good time, or to support veterans or both, it will be an enjoyable evening.

“We have some great bands,” Zylman said of the lineup. “There will be some great music.”

To learn more, visit www.colemanveteransmemorial.org.

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