Time to celebrate veterans

Staff photo by Philip Wright

MEMBERS of VFW Post 7400 present colors at Tavasci Elemen-tary School in Cotton-wood.

Veterans Day is Nov. 11, and special programs are in the making on that day and beyond to honor, remember and help those who have performed their duty to protect America.

Due to the scheduling situation, VFW Post 7400 in Cottonwood will have its Veterans Day Open House festivities on Nov. 12 to coincide with the start of the Buddy Poppy Program. There will be military displays and a Ladies Auxiliary bake sale starting at approximately 10 a.m. Profit from the sale goes to help with cancer aid and research, scholarships, and many other charities.

The Post has its annual distributions of Buddy Poppies on the streets of Cottonwood, Nov. 12-13.

"All of the net proceeds received from the distributions of Buddy Poppies remain here in our own community to meet the calls from needy veterans," Commander Gene Hydle said. "The Post maintains a relief fund into which is placed all net profits received from the distribution of Buddy Poppies. This fund is available to meet any calls for relief from our local veterans."

As in previous years, these symbolic flowers in Flanders Fields will be distributed on the streets by a group of volunteer members of the VFW Post and members of its Ladies Auxiliary. They will be assisted by volunteer workers from youth groups in the community.

"Most of the money that we collect in this campaign will remain right here in our own community, to help finance the relief and welfare work which we have undertaken in behalf of our own veterans in need, and their dependents," Hydle said.

"The balance of the proceeds of the annual Buddy Poppy Campaign is used to help maintain the nationwide rehabilitation service of our organization," Hydle added. "For example, we contribute one penny for each Buddy Poppy distributed to the operation of the VFW National Home for widows and orphans at Eaton Rapids, Michigan. This is the only home of its kind in the world. It was founded in 1925."

Although it is after Veterans Day, there is still a wonderful opportunity to hear real war stories from real vets Nov. 16 in Cottonwood.

The public is invited to hear first-hand experiences, reminiscences and some gripping tales by several of the brave men who served their country honorably over 60 years ago in World War II.

Panelists are Oscar Gregory and Harry McMillan, who served in the Navy, Jay Barnes, a Naval aviator, Bob Andrews of the Marines, and Fred Piper, Army Air Corps. Moderator will be James McMeekin, president of the Verde Historical Society, who himself served as a National Guardsman.

The meeting starts at 1 p.m. in the Board Room of the Cottonwood/Oak Creek School District, on the first floor of the Clemenceau School, corner of Willard Street and Mingus Avenue in Cottonwood.

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