VFW Post 3838 upholds the values they fought for

Thursday, April 17, 2003

Arbor Day Celebrated at Indian Park

Members of the Cape Girardeau Tree Board are from left, Tom Harold, Daniel D. Muser, Rocky Hayes and participated in the annual Arbor Day Observance held April 4 at Indian Park.

They planted a Willow Oak tree at Indian Park, located at Lorimier and William Streets, Cape Girardeau. The tree was one of of five trees donated by AmerenUE.By Chris Pagano ~ Southeast Missourian

Proud to have supported Troop 5, the Cape Girardeau VFW Post No. 3838 boasts of 13 Boy Scouts having attained the rank of Eagle Scout this year. Rodger Brown, a member of the post, said, "These young men are carrying on a very important value system."

One reason VFW members find the post a most important venue is because it allows a continuation of the camaraderie they enjoyed during their involvement in the service. It's important to converse and spend time with people who have similar values. But one of the post's goals is to uphold American values in the community. "The post also provides a way to exchange ideas for people who might need help," said Brown. "We would like to better serve the community and get more people involved in the activities we offer."

The post supports schools through scholarships, classroom and schoolground flags. It supports U.S. troops overseas; the Scouts; the Cape Girardeau fire and police departments; American Legion baseball in Cape Girardeau; the veterans through the Military Honor Guard and the needy. Activities like chili day and steak night provide funds that enable the post to operate as a charitable organization.

Focus on the veterans

The top priority for the VFW is helping veterans. Speaking for the post, Brown said, "They are our heroes. Without them we would not be enjoying this way of life." Members consider it an obligation and a privilege to help veterans.

Ken Lipps, spokesman for the Missouri Veterans Home, pointed out that in addition to regular cash donations, the post and its auxiliary make valuable donations of a most precious commodity: volunteer time.

Lipps said, "The Cape VFW Post was the first and only corporate sponsor of the Veterans Home Annual Flag Day Benefit Golf Tournament first held in 1997. They have continued support consecutively each year. Pete Rhodes, the post's clubhouse manager, is not only a charter member of the golf tournament committee, selling significant sponsorships and signing up several teams annually, he personally handles and puts his own labor into many functions they provide the veterans home."

Mark Hasheider, interim fire chief for Cape Girardeau, said, "The VFW is still contributing to citizens by assisting in promoting public safety." Smoke Detector Awareness Day, held April 5, was made possible by the post's donation of 118 smoke detectors to the Cape Girardeau Fire Department.

Lee Gaddis, principal of Central Junior High School, recently received a sponsorship to the National Flag Association's Young Patriots Flag Education program from VFW Americanism chairman, Herb Nance. This program helps define the symbols of patriotism, promoting respect for them.

The post backs U.S. servicemen and women fighting now. Brown said, "We're proud of our young people fighting over in Iraq. These are the guys doing the work that we can't because we're too old. We've been there. We'll try to make it comfortable for those who are over there now."

A troop support rally will be held the second Saturday of every month at 11 a.m. until the war is over. The next rally is May 10, offering the opportunity for fellowship among supporters.

To signify the importance of patriotism, the VFW membership is represented on Memorial Day, Veteran's Day and Fourth of July in a unique way: an impressive display of 1,450 flags placed on the median in front of the building is a sight that's hard to miss.

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