Those who are unfamiliar with all the Wounded Warrior Project does for injured soldiers and their families need only visit a place like the Walter Reed Army Medical Center to fully appreciate the mission of the organization.

Camden American Legion Post 30 and District 6 Commander Ron Rainfrette and Adjutant Ray Lewis agreed that such an experience makes a person grateful for what they have, and more importantly, mindful of those who have given so much for their country.

“You may go in there with a smile, but you’ll come out in tears,” said Rainfrette, noting that the century-old military hospital in in Washington, D.C. has since been closed and moved to a new location in Maryland.

“It is really emotional to go over there,” added Lewis, who said he used to live in the Washington, D.C. area and recalled what it was like to visit with the people who were being treated there. “They’ve all got smiles on their faces, even though some have lost limbs.”

The goal of the Wounded Warrior Project, according to its website, is to “foster the most successful, well-adjusted generation of wounded service members in our nation’s history” through programs and services aimed at meeting the needs of injured service members.

The organization also works to help injured soldiers assist one another, and to enlist the public’s aid in meeting the needs of wounded service members. The organization provides support for the soldiers, such as a combat stress recovery and economic empowerment programs, as well as caregiver retreats and other services for relatives of wounded soldiers.

So when Rainfrette and Lewis learned that the 100 Ocean State Job Lot stores across the country raised $144,000 to support the Wounded Warrior Project, Rainfrette said the local chapters of the American Legion wanted to say thank you.

Monday, Dec. 12, Rainfrette and Lewis did just that with the presentation of a certificate of thanks to the manager of the Belfast Ocean State Job Lot store, Adam Tyler.

Tyler said the chain of stores, which are located mostly in New England, has been raising money for the Wounded Warriors Project for at least five years.

Even though the funds were raised throughout all of the Ocean State Job Lot stores, Rainfrette said it is important to the local chapters of the American Legion to give special thanks for the support the business has given the nation’s injured service men and women.

“We wanted to let them know we appreciate what they do,” said Rainfrette, noting that the store has now moved on to collecting money to help area food pantries.