Swords to Plowshares chair aims to go beyond the VA in helping veterans

Paul Cox (Courtesy photo)Paul Cox (Courtesy photo)

The board chairman of Swords to Plowshares, a San Francisco organization dedicated to helping war veterans in need, Paul Cox will host the annual fundraiser Veterans Day dinner Thursday at the Four Seasons Hotel. For more information, visit www.swords-to-plowshares.org.

As board chair of Swords to Plowshares, what do you hope to accomplish? Swords started in 1973 to fill in gaps and services that were not being provided by the VA. During the ’80s and ’90s, when the homeless problem became obvious and widespread, it became clear that there was a tremendous problem among veterans.

How important is it to help our servicemen and servicewomen? Whatever people think of the wars — and speaking personally I don’t think much of them — we really have a duty to help those who serve our country. That service often involves injury to the young men and women.

You are a Vietnam veteran. How does that motivate you? I have had many friends who have died prematurely, have had rough lives, have not been able to maintain relationships. … I’ve had a few issues of my own. It’s my healing process and part of my continuing to serve my country. That motivates me to do this work.

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