A 94-year-old World War II veteran is getting a special gift this Memorial Day Weekend, thanks to a group of community members coming together.
Until recently, Corporal Ernest Melvin Mosher hadn’t been tapping into the benefits he earned for serving his country.
“Well, I’m not a hero, but I appreciate all their concern and all their appreciation for what I’ve done,” said the Palm Desert resident said.
“Most veterans don’t feel like they deserve anything. I served two tours in Vietnam myself and I did not file for any benefits that I was entitled to until after 50 years of serving in Vietnam,” said Michael Pierson, former Commander and current Adjunct at Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3699 in Indio. “It’s very common for veterans to not understand what their benefits are or be in the same mindset as me, just don’t feel like we were worthy,” he said.
When Mosher was having trouble with his air conditioning unit, his daughter Laura reached out to the local Veterans of Foreign Wars post for help. Adjunct Michael Pierson answered the call.
“Every time I have an opportunity to serve a veteran I think of those that lost their lives in Vietnam that I knew personally,” Pierson said.
It takes a village, but thanks to the contributions of multiple people in the community, Corporal Mosher is getting a brand new heating and air conditioning system.
“It means a lot to me, I’m just overwhelmed," Mosher said. "I’m so surprised, it’s great!”
Esser Air Conditioning organized the installation of the unit, which was donated by Ferguson Trane. Mario’s Cafe even pitched in, delivering lunch to the group.
“It feels good to be part of something bigger than yourself,” said Silverio Davila, Ferguson HVAC's territory manager.
“No matter how much bad in the world, there’s always a lot of good people to, kind of, counteract it," said Mosher.
Pierson encourages all veterans to contact the VFW or their county’s Veteran’s services office to find out what benefits they can receive.
“In their youth, they were the most valuable asset America had in fighting enemies in foreign lands," Pierson said. "It’s the price that they payed while serving in the military that allows them to now receive assistance from the government they served honorably. They should take pride in that.”
The VFW is asking for your help. Their normal fundraising event selling
flowers in front of grocery stores can't happen this year because of the
coronavirus. To help more veteran's like Corporal Mosher you can donate on their website VFW.org, or visit Post 3699's site directly.