Joseph Haggard (from left), Clay Rushton, Sgt. Lance Inman and Bob Shackelford volunteer to clear out the former home of a Korean War vet widow. (KEIZERTIMES/Lyndon A. Zaitz)

Men in Action for Keizer (MAK), the Keizer Chamber of Commerce’s volunteer group of men, jumped into action earlier this month when they were called by representatives of the Oregon Department of Veteran Affairs to help clear out the former home of a veteran’s widow.

A small group of MAK volunteers, led by Bob Shackelford, were joined by three Keizer Police Department employees at the manufactured home in northeast Salem that was the residence of Carmel Westover for decades. Westover, in her 70s, had relocated to a foster home earlier in the year.

The large, three-bedroom home, was filled with the artifacts of a life that Westover shared with her husband Marvin, a Korean War Naval vet, who had passed away. The clear-out team filled a large trash container and a recycling container, donated by Pacific Sanitation Service. Items in the home were divided into categories: trash, recyclables, personal documents and things that will be sold.

Men in Action for Keizer, which has a roster of about 50 members, was created several years ago as a counter to the chamber’s Keizer Network of Women (KNOW), assists in every way for those in need—individuals, businesses, civic projects and more. Shackelford, a real estate broker, leads the group, which is constantly seeking projects to which they can lend their manpower.

Jordan Killian, property manager for the Department of Veteran Affairs (ODVA), contacted Sgt. Lance Inman at Keizer Police, who connected him with Shackelford and MAK. Overseeing the project was Helen Ireland, conservatorship manager with ODVA.

Along with Shackelford, the volunteers from Men in Action for Keizer at the home clean-up were Bob Parsons, Clay Rushton and Joseph Haggard. Joining Inman from the police department were Traci Moore and Jacki Wolfe.