MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) – A North Strand veteran is being recognized for helping get thousands of dollars in money and supplies to the Myrtle Beach VA Clinic.
Bill La Monte served in the U.S. Air Force for more than two decades. That includes nearly two years in Vietnam.
His main duty was in air traffic control.
“One day, you have an airplane that comes in with no radios and you got to work a means to get them down that way,” said La Monte. “You got an airplane with broken landing gear and you got to clear the area so that they slide in on the runway. You have airplanes that are lost.”
La Monte and his wife moved to Little River eight years ago, where they’ve been very active at the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 10804.
“I’m the newsletter writer/editor for the post,” he said. “I put out a newsletter every month, but I’m also a coordinator with the VA clinic.”
Along with medical care, the location in Myrtle Beach’s Market Common also offers food and clothing to families of vets in need.
Like many charitable groups, demand has skyrocketed during the coronavirus pandemic.
“They contacted me and said, ‘We could really use some nonperishable foods because the amount of people we were feeding before the pandemic was 10-15 families and now, we’re feeding over 100 families and our pantry is running dry,'” La Monte said.
La Monte got VFW members and his neighbors in the Country Lakes community to raise $5,000 in food, clothing and money for the VA clinic. He was recognized nationally by the VFW as part of its #StillServing campaign, which honors veterans continuing to help in their communities.
La Monte says he feels great pride in helping out his fellow veterans.
“Part of our job with the VFW is to do exactly that, take care of our veterans,” he said. “Whatever means is necessary to do that, I’m willing to go out there and do it.”
You can click here to learn more about the VFW’s #StillServing campaign or if you’d like to nominate a veteran for it.