Opinion

Help serve our veterans

In these times of divided politics and increasing numbers of our men and women deployed in defense of our country, it is so important to foster patriotism in our youth.

Members of the Ladies Auxiliary to the Veterans of Foreign Wars understand this, and as mentors to our Junior Girls Unit, we encourage our girls to take part in making a difference. It works much better to recruit their help in creating care packages and making sunshine visits to veterans in nursing homes than to try to educate them in our country’s history. Though, as they grow, they will be the ones standing up at parades as the honored colors pass, knowing the meaning of patriotism. They can recite the Pledge of Allegiance and they have heard the words of gratitude from veterans whose lives they have brightened.

Thelma Darling, our Auxiliary District 15 president, recently stated, “There are new veterans created every day. When you combine that fact with the numbers of veterans from combats fought decades ago, there is a whole lot of work to be done to honor all veterans.”

It is our motto, “We serve because they have served,” and it rings true today as it did 94 years ago. Currently, there are over 600,000 auxiliary members in the United States, Guam and Panama. The Ladies Auxiliary to the Veterans of Foreign Wars serves our veterans, in an effort to ensure that no veteran is forgotten. We also support our troops and their families, providing them with care packages and programs designed to show them we honor their sacrifice.

We understand there are more demands on a family’s time than ever before. Our auxiliary members are wives, mothers, daughters, grandmothers and employees who also feel the load of everyday life. Still, we gather together monthly to discuss our auxiliary activities and devote one Sunday a month to our Junior Girls Unit. Working together, we divide the duties and produce worthwhile results. When we welcome new members, the workload is lighter, and everyone is appreciated for the time they devote. Our Ladies Auxiliary and Junior Girls Unit is a talented team, each one seemingly gifted at the part they play in making great things happen. Showing your patriotism through community service is time well spent. Mentoring young girls in service, leadership and honing their given talents is a calling we need more women to answer.

The future of the Ladies Auxiliary to the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Junior Girls Unit depends on more women stepping forward to take their place in our organization. We produce a wide variety of programs, all equally important, and each unique in the skills they require. Anyone who is eligible for the auxiliary can find a place to help. You need not be a leader, as we have many limited-time volunteer tasks to do. For homemakers, we offer the opportunity to gain and maintain valuable, marketable skills for return to the workplace, or simply a place to fellowship and grow with a fun group of women. We invite relatives of veterans to register their girls, ages 5 to 15 so they may begin their learning in patriotism, service and other valuable life skills as a member of our Junior Girls Unit.

Consider our organization or the other military organizations in our community of which you may be eligible for membership. Volunteers are always welcome and you can be assured that your own life will be enriched and changed when you serve others. There is something priceless that you feel when you know you have made a difference. It is through our own sacrifice of time, to serve those protecting our freedom that we may truly understand a part of what our men and women in uniform have given. Find that time you can give, and make it matter to those who have given their lives for yours.

Visit www.vfwpost7392.org for more information.

Amy Hannold, Ladies Auxiliary to the Veterans of Foreign Wars, Whitehead-Muzzall Post 7392, Oak Harbor.

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