February 14, 2019
Valentine's Day and veterans have long been a "hand in hand" type of holiday. For many veterans and their loved ones this special day dedicated to celebrating love for those they hold dear to their hearts has been one of separation is the veteran is deployed, at war, or in the hospital from injuries or illness from serving. This can be a lonely time for the veteran.
The U. S. Department of Veterans has set February 10-16, 2019 as National Salute to Veteran Patients. This special week is observed by many organizations, schools and communities as a way to honor and thank the Veteran patients for their service. School children create and sent valentines to Veteran patients all over the United States. More than 288,000 valentines were sent to VA medical centers to be distributed across America. "These community resources confirm to our veterans that we are a nation that cares and remembers their sacrifices every day." VA Secretary Robert Wilkie said.1
Over 75,000 Volunteers give more than 12 million volunteer hours serving veterans. 2
The Donald Eisenhauer American Legion Post 60 and Auxiliary Unit 60 are very much a part of this tradition locally. The Auxiliary Unit 60 puts together "snack" bags filled with goodies, cookies or popcorn balls and distributes them throughout Pine Bluffs to all the local veterans.
One year the Auxiliary gathered together at President Diane Wise's residence and decorated freshly baked heart shaped cookies, and bagged them in Valentine Day goody bags. This was such a big hit, they have put together goody bags since.
"Giving hearts and goodies is just a small token of our appreciation for their service and sacrifices." stated Wise. She went on to add, "This is one of the many things we like to do for our veterans, as well as go to the VA Medical Center in Cheyenne and help serve cookies, sweets and beverages to our veteran patients during this week of love."
Members of the Donald Eisenhauer American Legion Post 60 and Auxiliary Unit 60 participate each year in the VA Medical Center's Salute to Veteran Patients.
Both organizations know what it is like for a veteran on holidays. As one veteran said, "Veterans put the "V" in Valentines Day."
From Valor, to Victory, to Veteran....our freedoms, our rights are protected and fought for by this wonderful group of men and women called the Armed Forces.
Thank you for serving.
1./2. U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs.