Veteran hat program honors local veterans

Local News

A local man is making sure that his fellow veterans are getting the thanks they deserve with an unlikely gift.

Vietnam Veteran Jeff Banik started giving out hats to those who served in World War II, plus the Korean and Vietnam wars. 

He got the idea from a friend who has given out more than eight-hundred hats.  

Banik says he wants to honor the veterans from Korea and Vietnam especially since he pushed away the memories of what happened during his own service. 

“When I got back from Vietnam, I became a police officer and pushed it all away.  Then when I retired, fully retired – I started having problems. My therapist said the problem was I did push it all away, hid it and then it just started coming back because I was relaxed and wasn’t working. She said I had to relive it continuously, not forget it and this is one way I don’t forget it,” said Banik.

In the last year, Banik has given away almost 250 hats. 

If he gets enough donations, he plans to have hats for veterans of every war.  

There are two ways people can help with the hat program.  One is with donations to help with the cost of the hats.

Donations can be made to:

Post 64 Hats to Vets Program             
C/O Jeffery L. Banik              
184 Tanglewood Dr.
Blue Ridge, VA 24064

The other is any organization, group or church that has Korean War or Vietnam War veterans can contact Jeff at jeffbanik@gmail.com and he will come hand out hats at their location.

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