Black Hawk County VA's "Adopt-a-Veteran" gives a Christmas to re - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Black Hawk County VA's "Adopt-a-Veteran" gives a Christmas to remember

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Many veterans in eastern Iowa had a Christmas to remember, thanks to people in the community.

This year, the Black Hawk County VA started a new program called "Adopt-a-Veteran." People volunteered to "adopt" a veteran and their family for Christmas, making sure they had presents to open.

Jennifer Diller served in the Air Force from 1993 to 1999. Diller now lives in Waterloo with her husband and two children; her family got "adopted" this Christmas.

"I don't know if I can even put it into words... Amazing. Cried! You know, happy tears. A blessing. A true blessing," Diller said.

Part of that blessing -- Jami Allen. Allen and her family adopted Jennifer's, and also helped three other families.

"Wonderful. A lot of people call me an angel. I wouldn't go that far, but... it makes me feel good," Allen said.

The Black Hawk County VA says close to 200 veterans and their families got adopted from people in their community. About 750 gifts were delivered to the families.

Gift bags included items like blankets, socks, candies, chapstick, lotion and slippers.

"So many people go without anymore, and it's not like there has to be a lot," Diller said.

The Black Hawk County VA said the response from the community was wonderful, and now plans to make "Adopt-a-Veteran" an annual program.

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