The Duncan Banner

Local News

November 28, 2010

Helping those who first helped us

Pickard brings aid to area veterans

DUNCAN — Ken Pickard is a man of action.

He spent close to 40 years as a regular working man, and several years previous to that in the Army.

So when retirement came his way in 1995, it wasn’t going to keep him from slowing down.

“I just sat my first year after, but told myself ‘This ain’t gonna cut it,” Pickard recalled. “So I started doing this.”

By this, Pickard is referring to his full-time volunteer cause of donating clothing and other items to veterans in need. Whether they are hospitalized, without family or homeless, Pickard will do what he can to help his fellow brethren of the armed forces.

When he started this volunteer work, he was completely on his own. Pickard said he would pick up clothing as he found it, but his church offered to help and gave him a budget. He now has a section of the clothing closet at the Compassion Center where he sorts and organizes the clothing items he takes to disabled or homeless veterans across the state.

Pickard now even gets help from the AmVets in Duncan to help supply donated clothing items, and even some he has to purchase. Between his church and the AmVets, Pickard now has a large operation that spans into six different cities, including Duncan.

“I travel to Sulphur, Talihina, Ardmore, Lawton and Clinton,” Pickard said.

In each of those cities is a veterans care center, which offers help to disabled or homeless veterans.

“I bring them clothing if they need it, blankets, shoes, socks, underwear,” Pickard said. “Really, anything they need, I’ll bring them.

“I usually have a box at our church and ask for certain things for people to donate, and like say this week, I’m asking for toiletries.”

Other times, Pickard has asked for new socks, underwear, and anything else people are willing to donate to him.

He also said that people can bring their clothing to the Compassion Center and specifically leave it to his cause.

“I’ve been doing this now for 10 to 12 years, and people know what I’m doing here now,” Pickard said. “They can leave stuff specifically for me to use if they want.”

Pickard said he feels this is something he should be doing to help out those veterans in need, and said helping all of the people he does is like taking care of his children.

“It’s like having 175 kids who need shirts, britches and socks,” Pickard said. “But I enjoy doing it, and knowing they can use it and will use it is great.”

Pickard said he can use donations of just about any variety and any size. However, he said he’s pretty full up on suits, and asked more for day-to-day clothes and necessary items.

Pickard was happy to talk about some of the people he’s helped. He provides blankets for warmth, shoes and socks for protection and even the occasional entertainment item to keep their spirits high. He said he’s always willing to go the extra mile to stay busy and to continue helping Oklahoma’s veterans.

“Oklahoma leads the U.S. in shelters for veterans,” Pickard said. “And I’m happy I can be a part of that factor by helping those that need it.”

— Kevin Kerr is a reporter for The Duncan Banner. He can be reached at 580-255-5354 Ext. 147 or by e-mail at

Text Only
Local News
  • Jurors to decide Bench competency issue today

    Jurors will hear final arguments on Thursday and then be asked to determine whether  23-year-old Miles Sterling Bench is mentally competent to stand trial for first-degree murder in the bludgeoning death of 16-year-old Braylee Henry nearly two years ago.

    April 17, 2014

  • 4-17 Decathlon Team1 0127.jpg DHS Decathlon Teams prepares

    Not every high school student gets an all-expense paid trip to Hawaii. But that’s exactly what’s happening with the 10 team members of the Duncan High School Decathlon Team.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Baseball tourney to be held in Wiles' memory

    The Duncan Middle School baseball team will hold a tournament in memory of the late Alyssa Wiles.

    April 17, 2014

  • Corporon memorial planned for Friday in Marlow

    A candlelight vigil for Dr. William Corporon and his grandson Reat Underwood will be held at Marlow High School at 8 p.m. Friday.

    April 17, 2014

  • Gay recuses himself from Morales trial

    Associate District Judge Dennis Gay on Wednesday disqualified himself from the trial of Dr. Oscar Morales Jr.

    April 17, 2014

  • Psychologists disagree on Bench’s mental competency

    Two psychologists on Tuesday offered differing opinions  about the mental competency of Miles Sterling Bench to stand trial for first-degree murder in the 2012 death of Braylee Henry.
    Bench, dressed in a dark blue suit, sat through a second day of court proceedings that will determine if the case against him goes to trial. The state is seeking the death penalty.

    April 16, 2014

  • Empire water removal proposal withdrawn

    A rural water district has canceled its application to withdraw up to 7.8 million gallons of additional water after Empire residents protested their private wells might run dry if that much groundwater was taken.
    A spokeswoman for the Oklahoma Water Resources Board said Tuesday the application for groundwater rights was withdrawn by Fox Engineering Inc., an Ardmore firm that works as a consultant for Rural Water District No. 3.

    April 16, 2014

  • Man stabbed at water treatment plant

    A 50-year-old man who said was approached by three males was stabbed and cut several time at the Duncan Water Treatment Plant, police said Tuesday.
    The attack took place around 9 p.m. Monday on the south side of the treatment plant office where two men forced the victim against a wall and a third man attacked him, police said.

    April 16, 2014

  • Maundy Thursday services reflect on night before crucifixion

    Maundy Thursday, the night before the crucifixion that some Chrisitians refer to as “Holy Thursday,” will be recognized with special services in some Duncan churches.
    The day is celebrated in recognition of the Last Supper and a foot washing ceremony that took place before the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.

    April 16, 2014

  • jimmyseggstore.jpg Jimmy’s Egg set to open June 9

    A new Jimmy’s Egg restaurant will open in Duncan on June 9 and will begin interviewing job applicants later this month, the restaurant’s general manager said on Tuesday.
    The restaurant will seat about 150 and will employ 33 people, said Libby Shirra, the new general manager.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo