Veterans put money toward mission

Published 9:28 pm Tuesday, July 10, 2012

That the U.S. Department of Defense would even consider cutting funds for active-duty honor guards to attend veterans’ funerals is nothing short of shameful.

Most reasonable folks agree that the military could stand to shave a few dollars off its annual budget. But slashing the budget for honoring those who have sacrificed so much — time with their families, the freedom to live where they please, their health, and in some cases even their lives — is not the way to rein in spending.

Despite the fact that may not actually happen, the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9382 in Pughsville took action when it voted to donate $1,000 to a fellow post in Elizabeth City, N.C., that sends an honor guard to funerals when an active-duty one is unable to attend.

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Post 6060 has a 1986 GMC van used to transport the honor guard and its equipment, but it is unreliable. Their dedication to ensuring that veterans are honored, however, is unmatched. They have been all over the area attending funerals, including many at the Albert G. Horton Jr. Memorial Veterans Cemetery in Suffolk.

When the local post voted to donate such a large sum, they put their money where their mouth is when it comes to honoring veterans.

The post works hard on holidays such as Memorial Day and Veterans Day by getting donations for Buddy Poppies — red, artificial flowers traditionally used by the organization to honor veterans. The donation speaks volumes about their dedication to their mission.

“One of the objects of our organization is to look out for the widows and orphans,” said Ralph Holcombe, a past commander of Post 9382.

Anyone who would like to join them can donate to the Elizabeth City post to help purchase the van by sending a check to 1433 N. Road St., Elizabeth City, NC 27909 or calling 252-338-2828.