Poppies, pins, and red, white, and blue paraphernalia were on display Thursday as a veterans recognition ceremony was held at Dunlop House. This is the first time the ceremony was held at the senior living community. Amanda Griffith, the community relations coordinator at Dunlop House, said the event was a collaboration with VFW Post 2239 to honor local military personnel and veterans residing at the facility.
“I got together with Joann Duncan from the VFW and I said, ‘How can we partner to recognize veterans both in her VFW and the outside community and also within Dunlop House,’” Griffith said, “and so she and I collaborated to do the poppy drive and open it up to the general public for [local veterans] to stop by [and get a poppy], and then also to recognize the veterans that we have living here as residents in assisted living.”
Griffith said there are roughly 20 to 30 veterans residents at Dunlop House and that she wants to make sure veterans, especially those who are Dunlop House residents, are not forgotten.
“Just being a United States citizen, I want to make sure that we’re not taking our veterans for granted,” Griffith said. “I want to make sure that especially with our senior citizen population,” Griffith said, “they’re the ones who served in those very important wars – World War I, World War II, Vietnam, Korea – all these major wars, we need to make sure that those folks are not forgotten.”
Joann Duncan, a Gold Star sister who lost her brother in the Vietnam War, said the post is trying to get local assisted living facilities to participate so they can have different events for the residents. The head of the ladies auxiliary also echoed Griffith’s statements about the importance of honoring veterans.
“Our main thing for today is to let them know that even though they’re in assisted living facility, that we haven’t forgotten and we do thank them for their service,” Duncan said. “It’s just something near and dear to my heart, I can’t think of enough ways to thank the veterans and the active duty military for what they do, and anytime I can do anything in that respect then I’m goning to go out and try to do it.”
Along with a poppy drive, veterans at Dunlop House were honored in a pinning ceremony. Each vet was pinned with an American flag pin and given a poem thanking them for his service, while spouses of veterans were given a rose. In special recognition Vietnam veterans, who received pins commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam war.