Letter to the Editor

Your view: Poppies help vets

Friday, May 27, 2005

On behalf of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Posts 3174, Sikeston and 7183, New Madrid County I would like to thank the many members of our community who generously bought Buddy Poppies this past Saturday at Wal-

Mart in Sikeston. Buddy Poppies is a national program of the VFW, yet all proceeds collected this past weekend stay in the local area to help needy veterans in our community.

Among all the flowers that evoke the memories and emotions of war is the red poppy, which became associated with war after the publication of a poem written by Col. John McCrae of Canada. The poem, "In Flander's Field," describes blowing red fields among the battleground of the fallen.

The VFW was the first veterans' organization to adopt the poppy and develop a national distribution campaign. For more than 75 years, the VFW's Buddy Poppy program has raised millions of dollars in support of veterans' welfare and the well being of their dependents. From the very beginning, Buddy Poppy has received the support of the Veterans Administration and the endorsement and cooperation of all presidents since Warren G. Harding.

Today, VFW Buddy Poppies are assembled by disabled, needy and aging veterans in VA Hospitals and homes across the country and are distributed by VFW Posts and their Ladies Auxiliaries. The minimal assessment (cost of Buddy Poppies) to VFW units provides compensation to the veterans who assemble the poppies, provides financial assistance in maintaining state and national veterans' rehabilitation and service programs and partially supports the VFW National Home for orphans and widows of our nation's veterans. A special note of thanks goes to the Good Works Program and the management at Wal-Mart for allowing us to solicit donations and to the following cadets of the New Madrid County Central High School JROTC Program: Samantha Bass, Sean Buck, Hannah Smith, Melinda Garza, Brittany Couch, Allen Johnson, Jonathan Stokes, Michael Minton, Staci Rickman, Charlie Barnett and Kristin Wilson. Without these fine young men and women, we would not have achieved such a successful campaign.

Sincerely, Rick Sherman

Buddy Poppy Chairman