It is time for New Year’s resolutions! I hope one of yours will be to join one of the service organizations here on the peninsula.
All of these organizations work hard to support veterans and their families here in Clallam County. You can contact them using the emails at the bottom of the column or ask me — email@example.com — and I can put you in touch with the right person.
Please realize that many of the programs we take for granted — Toys For Tots, gun salutes at funerals, service officers helping file claims, Wreaths Across America, Memorial Day services, support for homeless veterans, etc. — will go away if they do not have members and support. The VFWs in Forks and Port Angeles closed down in 2022. This will happen to other organizations if you do not join and participate.
Thanks for the toys
The Mt. Olympus Detachment of the Marine Corps League sends out a huge thank you to the businesses, organizations and people of Clallam County for their generous donations to Toys For Tots!
This year involved more than 10,000 toys and 5,526 children in the county receiving the toys. In most years, efforts have averaged 3,500 to 4,300 children, so this was a huge effort by the Marine Corps League.
Please know that anyone can volunteer to help with Toys For Tots. Put it on your calendar for next year (it starts the Saturday after Thanksgiving).
Wreaths for our veterans
Thanks also to all who purchased wreaths and attended Wreaths Across America on Dec. 17. More than 2,300 remembrance wreaths were placed on veterans graves in 10 cemeteries.
You can purchase wreaths for Dec. 16, 2023, now and get a great deal. Buy two and you get five! This lasts until Jan. 15. Please go to wreathsacrossamerica.org/WA0153 to order. You will not see the deal online, but the coordinator will, and then will send a “thank you” with the total number of wreaths.
The local chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution is asking for volunteers to help with wreath recycling from 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 14, at Lazy J Tree Farm, 225 Gehrke Road, between Sequim and Port Angeles. Please come out and help.
Four Chaplains remembered
American Legion Post 62, 107 E. Prairie St., hosts a ceremony at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 4, to honor the Four Chaplains.
The chaplains from four different faiths were on the U.S. Army transport Dorchester when it was torpedoed by a German submarine on Feb. 3, 1943. They gave away their life preservers and were last seen singing hymns as they went down with the ship.
This ceremony honors them and their dedication to the service men on the Dorchester. They gave their lives so other military service members could survive. All are welcome to attend.
VFW making a difference
VFW Post 6787 in Sequim has been busy working with the food bank to make Christmas meal deliveries, donating $1,000 to each of five needy veteran families, assisting NORVHN with the purchase of the Forks VFW to make a second hand store, donating $1,000 to Peninsula Behavioral Health for families at Christmas and participating in the Wreaths Across America Ceremony at Mt. Angeles Memorial Park.
Many thanks to the post for helping so many people at Christmas!
Contributors: American Legion, Paul Renick, firstname.lastname@example.org; DAR, MOAA and Voices For Veterans, Lorri Gilchrist, email@example.com; Marine Corps League, Mark Schildknecht, firstname.lastname@example.org; Korean War Veterans, Jerry Rettela, email@example.com; VFW 4760, Steve Henrikson, firstname.lastname@example.org; VFW 6787, Rod Lee, email@example.com.