Albert Lea Flea Market Supports Operation Comfort Warriors

Posted at: 02/23/2013 8:43 PM
Updated at: 02/23/2013 10:43 PM
By: Jenna Lohse

(ABC 6 News) -- Many American soldiers leave the battlefield only to be faced with a new fight, a struggle to overcome the mental and physical wounds suffered while overseas.

A flea market fundraiser in Albert Lea is supporting those in need of not just medical supplies, but more personal items as well.

"It's ability to just show awareness that we're still around and if a soldier needs help we're here to help," said John Severtson, Chairman of Beyond the Yellow Ribbon.

John Severtson of Beyond the Yellow Ribbon worked with the American Legion to support Operation Comfort Warriors. More than 20 vendors donated to the program that gives wounded soldiers items like clothes, IPods, and fitness equipment to help their recovery.

Laura Lunde makes her own jewelry and participates in many local flea markets. 

"The flea markets and events that I've participated in have been more along the lines of trying to draw the community together but not necessarily for such a good cause," said Lunde.

It's raising money for a cause that hits close to home for some local veterans.

"December of '68 I was wounded in some enemy action," said Bob Levisen.

Bob Levisen fought in Vietnam. He knows recovering from war isn't easy but says having personal items can help

"It don't take the pain away, it just takes the minutes away from thinking about all the other stuff," said Levisen.

"After serving 3 or 4 tours in Afghanistan or Iraq, they need it and we are here to let them know it's important to give it to them," said Levisen.

Organizers say it's all about making an effort and appreciating the sacrifices of our military men and women.

"A soldier is use to taking orders and doing what needs to be done, nothing extra, where this is kind of unique where you get a chance to get something extra," said Severtson.

Organizers say the fundraiser was a success. The effort raised more than a thousand dollars