Veterans Corner: Veterans helping the community during the holidays

The final Voices For Veterans Stand Down of 2019 was held at the Clallam County Fairgrounds on Oct. 3. Among the volunteers were the Legion Riders, Marine Corps League, Michael Trebert Chapter, NSDAR, U.S. Coast Guard members from the base and the cutter Active, U.S. Border Patrol and Heart of Jesus Mission.

Many thanks to all the volunteers for helping set up, take down, and being personal shoppers. In all, 252 veterans were seen (40 females), of which 37 (two females) were homeless. It took 159 service providers and volunteers to put on this all day event. Many thanks to everyone involved.

For the holidays

I am starting to collect new gifts for the Washington State Veterans Home Christmas Shop. The American Legion Auxiliary for the Third District will hold the shop Dec. 2-5 at the home in Port Orchard.

All wrapping paper, cards, gifts and mailing are free to the residents who get to choose gifts for up to five family members. If you have money for postage or new gift items you would like to donate, please contact me at

We can use wallets, boxes of candy, fleece throws, small appliances, gift sets. Please no glass or alcohol. Some of these residents are from our area. This is a way to help them have a family Christmas. Thank you for your support.

Wreaths Across America

The cemetery near the Washington State Veterans Home will have a Wreaths Across America ceremony at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Dec. 14. This event started at Arlington National Cemetery and is now done in many cemeteries across the U.S.

The evergreen wreaths have large red bows. After the ceremony attendees place them on the veterans’ graves after first acknowledging the person. It is a very moving experience.

You can go to to get more information and see photos.

You can see if your loved one is in a participating cemetery and you can purchase a wreath for them. The goals of the program are to remember, honor and teach. This is a way to keep our deceased veterans in our hearts during the holidays.

Toys for Tots

The Mount Olympus Detachment of the Marine Corps League has begun their annual Toys For Tots campaign. You will see collection boxes in many places that you can leave new toys to be distributed to the children of Clallam County.

The detachment members will have a booth to collect new toys and money donations at several locations around Sequim on Fridays and Saturdays from 9 a.m.-5 pm starting the Friday after Thanksgiving (Nov. 29) and ending Saturday, Dec. 21. The toys are needed to match ages from birth to 18.

Please consider giving infant and teenager gifts — we always need them. Please remember, no clothes or food; new toys or money only.

Contributors: American Legion, Carl Bradshaw,; MOAA and Voices For Veterans, Lorri Gilchrist,; Marine Corps League, Mark Schildknecht,; Korean War Veterans, Jerry Rettela,; VFW 4760, Steve Henrikson, ; VFW 6787, Rod Lee,

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