Up & Coming Weekly

November 08, 2022

Up and Coming Weekly is a weekly publication in Fayetteville, NC and Fort Bragg, NC area offering local news, views, arts, entertainment and community event and business information.

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Page 16 of 28

WWW.UPANDCOMINGWEEKLY.COM 16 UCW NOVEMBER 9 - 15, 2022 Veteran aims to continue service in community by KATHLEEN RAMSEY COVER "Today is my third anniversary," Chelsea Perkins exclaims as she jumps a little in her seat. "Sorry I kind of yelled that." She laughs but the smile across her face does not fade. Andre, Chelsea's husband, is the one, she says, who balances her out. "I can be very high-strung." Chelsea sits back into the chair and relaxes a little. As she talks about Andre, her head kind of glides along. She opens her hand then quickly clasps them back together. Andre and Chelsea met at their hometown church in Whiteville when Chelsea would come back home from college. Chelsea served eight years in the Army Reserves and luckily for both her and Andre, her duty station was Fort Bragg. Andre also served ten years in the Army. Probably a more common and less answered reason for joining the service, Chelsea admits the luster was to gain financial independence for herself. She was always a number's person, she says. "It was a turning point in my life," she says. "I took some time off from school and joined the military. It was one of the greatest decisions I made." Admittedly, Chelsea says, there were a lot of things that never crossed her mind about being in the service. Deployment was one of those. However, as fate would have it, Chelsea did not get a combat deployment during her eight years of service. "If I look back at my career, that's an experi- ence that I wish I kind of had. No one wishes to be deployed but the experience, you know," she says. "It's kind of like that guilt of some people lost their lives. Some people sacrificed more than others." Currently, Chelsea is a loan officer for Veterans United and she did eventually graduate with an undergraduate degree in Finance. Now, Chelsea feels great being able to help veterans afford to buy their own homes. "I'm honored to be able to give back to the community," she says. "I just want to help them achieve their goals." Chelsea hopes that the future will bring more opportunities to give back to the community. Her passion, she says, is figuring out how to help the homeless, specifically veterans in the com- munity. Chelsea helps with hosting workshops, financial literacy, and partnering with organiza- tions to give back. "My goal is to make Fayetteville one of the best communities to live in … ever," she says. In the future, Chelsea plans to continue that goal for Fayetteville, maybe spend some time at the beach and one day have kids. For now, she laughs, she is the proud mom to two Yorkies. KATHLEEN RAMSEY, Staff Writer. COMMENTS? editor@upandcomin- gweekly.com. 910-484-6200. Motorcycle Association rides to help local veterans by DEBORAH MURPH JACOBS e Combat Veterans Motorcycle Associa- tion has over 20,000 members nationally and living abroad who ride motorcycles. Local to Fayetteville, Fort Bragg and the Sandhills, the CVMA All American 15-1 Chapter has approxi- mately 120 members. e mission of the CVMA is to support those who have defended their country and their freedom. Members come from all branches of the Armed Forces, and many are still serving. Officially formed in 2001 as a 501(c)19, nonprofit organization, the focus of the CVMA is to provide assistance and help individual veterans, veteran care facilities, as well as other veteran organizations and registered charities. ough the CVMA has their own geographical locations, the organization does not claim terri- tory, and clearly states that this is an association not a motorcycle club. e All American Chapter 15-1 was formed in 2006. ere are three membership classifications: Full Members, Support Members and Auxiliary Members. Full Members have verified combat services, while Support Members have non-com- bat military service. Auxiliary Members are the spouse, widow or widower of a member. e CVMA constantly supports and works with other local veteran associations and com- munity outreach. ese organizations include the Cumberland County Veteran's Council, VFW Posts and American Legions. e organization routinely works with vendors and sponsors of events. e All American chapter proudly raises tens of thousands of dollars annually which all supports local veterans, their families and vet- eran charities. In partnership with Habitat for Humanity, the CVMA has provided the funds and volunteer services to improve the homes and lives of veter- ans through critical home repairs. is includes building wheelchair ramps to make homes ac- cessible. e All American chapter even serves veterans by helping them relocate and move. James "Jim Dandy" Dennis serves as the Sec- retary of the 15-1 chapter. He says, "We have two big events annually, our Summer Bash and the Memorial Ride and Dedication in the spring. is upcoming year CVMA will be hosting the event at the Crown Complex with raffles, music, food and vendors." Other CVMA chapters will be attending and participating. e events are open to the public and support local veterans. e All American Chapter 15-1 participated in the Veterans Day parade as part of the Heroes Homecoming events. e parade is hosted by the Cumberland County Veterans Council and the city of Fayetteville. Eric "EO" Olson commented, "I got my first Harley in 2016 and have been riding with the Combat Veterans All American Chapter for the past 6 years. I enjoy being able to give back to my combat veteran brothers and sisters." Upcoming event information can be found on their Facebook page www.facebook.com/cv- manc15.1. Information about the local All-American Chapter, sponsorship opportunities, and ways to make donations can be found on their web- site www.cvma15-1.net. For information about membership, email the chapter secretary at sec. nccvma.15.1@gmail.com. DEBORAH MURPH JACOBS, Staff Writer. COMMENTS? Editor@upandcomingweekly. com. 910-484-6200 Chelsea Perkins e Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association works with organizations and charities to help local veterans. (Photo courtesy CVMA Chapter 15-1)

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