Cathe MacInnes’ role as president of the American Legion Auxiliary Foundation Board of Directors might be new, but her dedication to veterans is anything but.
The reason Cathe spends her time serving our nation’s heroes is simple – she does not want any veteran to be left behind, without the care they need and deserve. Though medicine has come a long way, there are still shortcomings that can be supported by the ALA Foundation.
“Fifty years ago, if you were in Vietnam and you were seriously injured, you probably died before you got home,” Cathe said. “But with the current conflicts, there is amazing battlefield technology, and they can save your life.”
Despite the miracles of modern medicine, Cathe knows that many servicemembers return home to facilities that are ill-equipped to treat lifelong issues.
“I don’t think veterans are getting enough care for the ongoing trauma of PTSD, not only for those with physical problems, but for those with the invisible wounds as well,” she said.
Cathe has seen the value firsthand in going the extra mile for our veterans. For many years, she volunteered with her best friend at her local U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs hospital, bringing dementia patients to chapel services on Sundays.
“There were several patients who were nonverbal, who could not carry a conversation with anyone,” Cathe said, “but when we sat in the chapel and they played the hymns, they sang along, and their faces just lit up. It really made us recognize, even more strongly, the value of the three hours a week we spent there; it really made a difference in the quality of their life.”
Cathe knows the ALA Foundation helps ALA units and departments execute programs that impact veterans’ lives in a similar way. She first started donating to the ALA Foundation because she saw how members nationwide were coming up with unique ways to serve the ever-changing needs of our heroes.
“The [ALA] Foundation recognizes that the way we have always served veterans may not be the best way, and our grants help to support innovative or new programs that are meeting the needs of today’s veterans better than some of our older programs do,” Cathe said.
Because she wants all veterans to receive the life-changing care only ALA members can provide, Cathe has made it her mission to award more grants than ever this year. But in order to do that, she needs your support.