Groveport Police Chief Ralph Portier hopes the department’s new Visit a Veteran program will prompt others to join in giving thanks for the service of local residents who served.
Veterans deserve to be shown appreciation throughout the year, not just on Veterans Day, according to Portier, and that’s what spurred him to begin meeting with a handful of veterans on his own time over the past several years.
“This isn’t so much a program yet, but rather a personal paying-it-forward to our veterans,” Portier said.
A notice in the city’s online newsletter invites veterans who are at least 55 years old — or anyone who knows a veteran of that age — to call the Groveport Police Department at 614-830-2060. Officers will schedule a time to meet and talk with veterans at their homes.
Motts Military Museum Executive Director Warren Motts said he’s appreciative of what Portier has been doing and hopes to see it spread.
“He’s a great guy who’s always finding ways to engage the community,” Motts said. “And you know, some of these veterans just need a cup of coffee and someone to talk with from time to time. I think if we can get more people to engage our veterans, there’s a lot to be learned.”
Portier said he hopes that by putting community members in touch with older veterans, not only will this show veterans that their service is appreciated, but also may provide them with an expanded circle of friends.
“They fought for our freedom, and this is a simple thank you for what all veterans sacrificed,” Portier said.