CINCINNATI — For some veterans and their family members, waiting during medical appointments can be mind-numbing. While our phones and tablets can entertain us for some time, there’s something about diving into a book that can take your mind off things and even take you on an adventure.
Now, there are four new mini-libraries set up at the Cincinnati VA Medical Center to help military families and veterans during those long days.
"This is something I really felt passionate about being a military caregiver to my husband Robert and spending long hours at times at the VA for appointments, I know what it’s like to wish I had a book," said Geri Maples.
Maples is the director of the Dayton and Southwest Ohio chapter of Blue Star Families, a nonprofit with a focus on strengthening and empowering military and veteran families.
"The books are theirs to keep and bring back to future appointments," she said. "If they finish that book they’re more than welcome to get another one at their next appointment and keep that as well."
The initial supply of books was made possible thanks to the partnership and support of both members of a local VFW post and the American Legion post.
"We teamed up with the VFW post 3809 in Middletown as well as American Legion Post 218 in Middletown and as soon as I asked them are you willing to help I was picking up over 200 books," Maples said.
"This library creates a notion that we care not only care about the veteran but also for the families as well," said Tiara Chambers with CVAMC volunteer services.
As veterans and their family members take books to read, she said anyone can donate to the libraries by reaching out to volunteer services.
"You can drop off any amount of books we want to keep this going," Chambers said.
You can also find out more information about the free membership and free services offered by Blue Star Families of Dayton and Southwest Ohio by visiting their website.