COLUMBUS, Ga. (WRBL) — Boxes of brand-new, black tactical backpacks sat outside The Plummer Home, alongside bundles of blankets and sheets. The backpacks were emblazoned with the United States flag and filled with supplies like hygiene kits, food, socks, underwear and more. The materials will be given to local homeless veterans.

The effort is a collaboration between Muscogee County Rotary and The Plummer Home, with items donated by ALSCO Linens, community members and other local organizations, including All About Fitness Family.

“There’s something awful wrong… when a soldier who fought for and defended the freedoms you all enjoy sleeps under the [I-185] bypass,” said retired Maj. Gen. Jerry A. White. “That’s wrong…because these are the guys that made a difference in our lives.”

The Plummer Home has multiple locations across Columbus, including a women’s shelter on Coral Drive and the Cobis-Freedom House on Manor Road, operated by Safehouse Ministries. Its goal is to help local homeless veterans get back on their feet and become purposeful and productive citizens.

White previously served as Commander of the United States Army Infantry Center at Fort Benning (now Fort Moore) and advocated for the construction of Columbus’ National Infantry Museum. After a recent visit to The Plummer Home, he secured a donation from the National Infantry Foundation to aide in a remodel of the 18th Street location’s kitchen.

The entire building is currently undergoing a substantial remodel, according to Plummer Home Board Member Kevin P. Loncher. A veteran himself and owner of Ranger Rags, Loncher explained the 18th Street location recently had paint stripped and carpet removed. It is also awaiting window and trimming replacement, supported by a donation from Window World of Columbus, as well as roof replacement.

One veteran currently staying at the men’s house said he “would’ve been totally lost” without The Plummer Home. He explained he was shot in the head, resulting in blood clots, seizures and other disabilities and is now awaiting brain surgery.

“They really saved my life, this place right here,” the veteran said.

Plummer Home supporter McDonald Plummer Jr. has worked with the organization since it was founded by retired Col. Rev. Dr. Roy D. Plummer and Pastor Charles Bauknight 13 years ago. Although unrelated to Reverend Plummer, McDonald Plummer called the organization’s founder his brother.

McDonald Plummer said he has tried to keep up Reverend Plummer’s legacy since the founder passed last year. He said The Plummer Home has benefited between 550 and 600 veterans to-date.

“I think something important to say is, we don’t turn any veterans away,” said Loncher. “Doesn’t matter where you’re coming from.”

 Current Plummer Home veterans include a man who was dishonorably discharged from the Army. Loncher said this veteran is now working with the organization to turn a new leaf.