The Dalles Outpost of Point Man International Ministries is on a mission to help veterans who are struggling with the aftermath of war, and to send comfort and care items to troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Toward that end, the group, an “outreach for veterans by veterans” will be in high gear raising funds through two different venues during the next few weeks: A poker run and a Stoner AR-15 raffle.
“Being a veteran is about giving back,” said Mike Knopf, a Navy veteran with 26 years of combined active duty and reserve military service. He and retired Marine Capt. Dan Brophy lead the local outpost that meets at 7 p.m. every Thursday at the Life in Christ Center, 3095 Cherry Heights Road.
“We’ve really expended a lot of what we’ve had helping veterans in the local area so we need to refill the bank account to keep our efforts going,” said Knopf.
He and other members of Point Man are helping The Dalles Eagle Riders organize the fifth annual Gorge Gear Jammers Poker Ride on Saturday, Sept. 16.
A share of the proceeds will go to Point Man.
The event begins with an 8:30 a.m. registration at the Eagles Lodge, 2006 W. Seventh Street. Bikes, trucks and cars -- stock or custom -- take off from that site at 10 a.m. and travel about 100 miles through the scenic Columbia River Gorge collecting playing cards at different checkpoints.
A variety of prizes – including a travel kit, jewelry and gift certificates — will be awarded at the barbecue following the ride.
Point Man will also sell raffle tickets at the Eagle’s event for a large-size Coleman sleeping bag and dome tent, a total value of $138.
Chris Mumford, a member of Point Man, and his band “Got Your Six” performs that day. The band formed earlier this year to raise money for veteran causes and is named after the military term for “Got Your Back.”
Point Man is also selling raffle tickets during September and October for a new Stoner AR-15 in a hard transport case that has a 16-inch barrel.
“People who would complain about us selling a gun need to remember that we still have Second Amendment rights,” said Brophy.
The gun will be sold to the winning ticket holder in a Nov. 2 drawing by a licensed federal firearms dealer. The new owner must fill out an FFL Form 4473 at Mountain Shadows Custom Guns near Odell.
Tickets are $20 each and can be obtained by calling Knopf at 541-300-0306 or Brophy at 541-980-7439.
Money isn’t just dished out to anyone who asks, said Knopf. People wanting help are expected to produce a DD214 (proof of military service) and give regular reports about what he or she is doing to “work a program.”
“They have to be looking for resources and trying to overcome their challenges,” said Knopf.
Point Man provides gas cards, buys food, covers rent and pays for vehicle repairs, among other services.
“We just meet their needs where they are at,” said Brophy.