For this month’s Celebrating Volunteers, WBOY heads north to Morgantown to honor a man who makes it his mission to help his fellow veterans.
“You didn’t have much time in the military for volunteerism. You were always told not to volunteer,” Wilbur England, volunteer of the month said.
In 1967, England enlisted in the United States Navy and became a Aircrewman on a carrier onboard delivery aircraft during the Vietnam War.
“We were hauling men, mail, any high priority cargo out to the aircraft off the coast of Vietnam,” said England.
When England returned home, he helped his wife who was part of to the Women’s Club in Granville.
“Of course being young and strong at the time, every time they needed something lifted or they were having street fairs or something like that, they would come get us younger guys that had just got home from the military,” England said.
That’s when England’s passion for volunteering sparked.
“Down the road, anything I could do to help out. I became involved with the VFW. From there, it’s been VFW, DAV, VVA, Legion. I help out where I can,” England explained.
For the past seven years, England has spent his free time giving back to Operation Welcome Home.
“I think it’s the greatest program that has hit Morgantown in a long time, for veterans,” England said.
The organization works to provide jobs to veterans.
“When we came back from Vietnam, they showed us the door, shoved us through it and slammed it behind us. It’s essential that the young people coming out of the military are given a chance to get back into civilian life. The military gives you programs that they lecture you on how to do but nobody tells you really how to do it,” said England.
Organizers said from the beginning England has been an outstanding volunteer.
“Wilbur is so quick to jump and help out. His hands on approach with the veterans that we have come in here is so outstanding, and the years of experience that he has, and just his institutional knowledge and life lessons that he has to offer the veterans that we work with is just invaluable. Just having him volunteer his time is just something you don’t find in a lot of people,” Brett Simpson, CEO of Operation Welcome Home said.