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AVF Continues To Support Veterans, Local Community
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American Veterans First and the Oakdale Rescue Mission have formed a new connection recently. AVF Founder Duke Cooper, ORM Executive Director Pamela Kelly and AVF Board Member John Hinkel are shown here with some dog food that AVF donated to ORM for the homeless people with pets. Photo Contributed
Veterans Rudy Molina, Jim Nunez, Adrian Nunez, AVF Founder Duke Cooper, an AVF supporter, and AVF Board Member John Hinkel had a good turnout for the meet and greet held in Riverbank this past Saturday. VIRGINIA STILL/THE NEWS
Adrian Miguel Nunez, author of “The 13 Unsung Heroes: The Untold Story” and “Wounded” was on hand at the meet and greet held at AVF on Saturday as well as the two veterans, Rudy Molina and Jim Nunez that his books are about as shown here signing books that were purchased. VIRGINIA STILL/THE NEWS

The flags were flying on a warm and sunny day at American Veterans First (AVF) in Riverbank this past Saturday, April 6 where people gathered to meet author and veteran Adrian Miguel Nunez, veteran Jim Nunez and veteran Rudy Molina. Duke Cooper, founder of American Veterans First, hosted a book signing, meet and greet to support his fellow veterans that have a very intriguing story.

The book signing had a flow of people throughout the day that purchased books and had them signed by the veterans that they were written about as well the author who wrote them.

Molina’s book “The 13 Unsung Heroes: The Untold Story” is a true story based on his life and a battle on the frontlines of the Vietnam War.

“Wounded” is also a true story written about Nunez and takes readers on a journey through his life and the aftermath of the Vietnam War where he was shot four times. He is a Silver Star and Purple Heart recipient.

The author also served his country in both the Army and Marines and has a passion for writing especially true stories that can help other veterans. The books were also very therapeutic for Molina and Nunez, which helped them share stories about experiences they will never forget. The books are dedicated to all the men and women that serve or have served our country.

Hands were shaken, “thank you for your service” could be heard along with smiles and laughter as the flow of people came in and out. There were also refreshments provided for the guests.

AVF has been serving the Riverbank, Oakdale, Modesto area since 2016 bringing assistance to veterans with scooters for ease of mobility, offering anyone a warm coat or blanket, and much more.

John Hinkle, AVF Board Member and Vietnam Veteran saw a need for assistance for the veterans that are furthering their education at Modesto Junior College, San Joaquin Delta College, and the University of the Pacific which he is currently attending. The student vet center at the schools have received toaster ovens, water donated by Cost Less, and sandwiches donated by Starbucks delivered by AVF to help those veterans that can’t afford food or water that may be living in their vehicles. Hinkle is attending UOP as a full time student and will graduating this May with a degree in Sports Science. He is extremely active with AVF and saw a lot of hungry veterans, with the effort made to help provide them with something to eat.

AVF has recently made a new collaboration with Pamela Kelly of the Oakdale Rescue Mission (ORM) that provides hope to those in need as well as meals, clothing, showers, laundry, resources, and referrals. They are a faith-based organization that helps the homeless in the community through their programs.

Recently, AVF delivered a truckload of goods to ORM of dog food for those in need that have pets, blankets, coats, sleeping bags, and clothing for men and women. This is a connection that Cooper stated will be long lasting.

For more information on the services AVF provides or to volunteer, visit Facebook/veteransfirst16 or or call 209-652-7627.