Black veterans association starts Whidbey Island chapter

The National Association for Black Veterans, Inc., or NABVETS, has established a local chapter.

Northwest Chapter 50 is about eight members strong and growing, said veteran Keith Roberts, a Whidbey Island resident.

They meet once a month on the third Thursday at the Veterans Administration Office in Mount Vernon since the membership is fairly dispersed.

There are a couple NABVETS members who live on Whidbey Island, one in Bellingham, another in Arlington, La Conner and beyond, he said.

The association is a nationally certified veterans service organization with chapters located throughout the United States. Members often take on projects to end homelessness and empower low-income and minority veterans and disadvantaged youth.

NABVETS got its start under the name “Interested Veterans of the Central City” in Milwaukee, Wisc., in 1969. In 1973, the association was reorganized under the name NABVETS.

Roberts would like to see the Northwest Chapter continue to grow.

“We’re kind of spread out and trying to recruit new members,” Roberts said, adding the association is open to all veterans.

“We don’t discriminate,” he said.

Contact Keith Roberts at 279-8028, Cmdr. Charles McGrew at 360-403-9329, or email for membership information.

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