Green River Star -

By Stephanie Thompson
People Editor 

Veterans honored at recent lunch

VFW seeks care-package items


Stephanie Thompson

Bob Clevenger, clad in his old Army attire, listens to a story his friend is telling him.

Veterans and their guests gathered at the Golden Hour Senior Center for a special lunch Thursday.

The room was close to packed with veterans, their guests, and regular senior citizens all ready to eat a great meal and honor those who served this country.

Before being served a meal, Jim Shoemaker, Senior Vice Commander of the VFW Post 2321 and District Junior Vice, spoke to the attendees about the importance of supporting the soldiers who return from overseas and those who are still serving.

"We send packages to the troops," Shoemaker said. "We try to do it twice a year."

He said over the years it has been getting harder and harder to obtain names and addresses of those serving overseas. He said most of it is due to security reasons. However, the VFW still wants to send care packages full of goodies to the troops so they are asking residents who know of someone serving overseas to provide them with a name and address. He said they mostly send care packages to the middle east, including Afghanistan and Iraq, but they have also sent packages to troops serving in Germany. He said it really doesn't matter where they are stationed at, just give a VFW member the soldier's information and they will send a care package to them.

"If it comes from home, they appreciate it," he said.

The VFW is also asking the community for donations to go into the care packages. He said these items can range from food to deodorant. Canned items are also accepted, but not shipped to the troops. Shoemaker said anything they receive that they cannot ship or is leftover will be delivered to VA hospitals.

As for the lunch served to the veterans, Shoemaker thought it was great.

"It's a great honor. A lot of us vets from the Vietnam era weren't treated well," Shoemaker said.

A lot of the Vietnam veterans are now in their 70s and are helping ensure those who return home from serving overseas are treated well when they return, he said.

If a family wants a complete color guard service when their loved one returns home from service, they will get it, Shoemaker said. All they need to do is ask. He said he knows they have done it before at the airport.

As long as this community has men overseas, the VFW will continue to do what it can to make sure they are appreciated when they return.


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