Letter to the Editor

Veteran's Day Thanks

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Dear Editor,

Our VFW Post 4514 participated in all events slated for Veterans Day. I and other Post members were in military or VFW uniforms for both middle school and high school programs as well as the various programs at the Hilltop and WEL-Life facilities. Our Post flag and members will also be present at the Rock the Vet program that evening. I strongly encouraged all veterans to wear their service uniforms (including VFW or Legion) if possible to these events so community members can see just how many are veterans there are in our community.

Of course I see many of them (approaching 2,500 area veterans from as far away as Cherokee and Algona, Ia., to Mountain Lake and Blue Earth, Minn.,) when they come through the doors of the VA Community Outpatient Clinic during any given year. If all vets just here in Spirit Lake would participate in one of these events, it would be a real eye opener for our overall community members.

For example, its always a challenge to find a place to set down and eat the wonder breakfast Hy-Vee offers up free to veterans on Veterans Day. And the camaraderie there with so many people is, for me, just like going back on board the mess decks of the USS George Washington's (CVN-73), or the Enlisted Dining Facilities at NAS Fallon, or Offutt Air Force Base, that I served on during my 22-year military career.

I strongly believe all these well-established Spirit Lake programs provide a excellent opportunity for our members to "show the flag" and more importantly, connect and reconnect with both young and older community members. Hopefully the school-age kids will remember the words they hear and the faces they meet from those who sacrificed so much while serving America in war and peace time.

It's always a great pleasure to go to the afternoon programs and see the residents there, many who have service on the war front as well as their spouses who had to deal with tons of issues on the home fronts by themselves.

I thank God for my country, my ability to serve her and truly humbled for the day she has set aside to say "Thanks for your service."


Rick Collins

VFW Post 4514 Commander