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Boots on the Ground

By Thomas Corder, Chaplain VFW Post 5127

Several years ago, two of my VFW comrades and I were being interviewed by Adam Phillips on the local radio station. When asked about the difference between the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States and other veterans’ organizations, one of my comrades replied that VFW membership eligibility was based upon “boots on the ground”. In other words, veterans were not eligible because they had during a time of war, but because they had been physically present in a war zone.  They had to have had boots on the ground, so to speak. So, when I took it upon myself to contribute a monthly column about our own local VFW post to The Voice, I thought about it for a while and decided that I would call it Boots on the Ground in honor of the brave men and women from McCreary County who have actually served “in country” from Korea and Vietnam to Kuwait, Iraq, Afghanistan and other hot spots in the world. I hope I can do justice to their service and to Post 5127.

Post 5127 has been busy of late, wrapping up our annual essay contests. Each year we conduct a Voice of Democracy contest for high school students and a Patriot’s Pen contest for students in Grades 6 through 8. This year, two students competed in the Voice of Democracy contest with Ms. Bonnie Hill being declared the winner. Ms. Hill was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation from the Post in addition to $100 in prize money. Ten students participated in the Patriot’s Pen contest with Ms. Callie Renee Foster being declared the winner. Ms. Foster also took home a Certificate of Appreciation and $100 in prize money. Both winners were announced at the Post’s Christmas dinner and their essays were forwarded to the District officials where they will compete with contestants from other Kentucky counties.  Although there can only be one grand prize winner, Post 5127 regards all the students who took part in the contest as winners. Their patriotism, high regard for veterans and sense of civic responsibility were evident in their essays. All McCreary County citizens may rightly be proud of them.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States believes that an educated people is a strong people and, for that reason, seeks to identify and reward outstanding persons in the field of education. In keeping with that philosophy, and after a rigorous nomination process, Post 5127 recently singled out three teaches in McCreary County who, we feel, deserve recognition.

This year, Amanda Gabbard was selected the Post Teacher of the Year for the high school level, Ms. Vicky Coffey, for Grades 6 to 8, and Ms. Nonnie Hamlin for Grades K to 5. We congratulate all of them for teaching their students that freedom is not free and for promoting the high ideals upon which the Veterans of Foreign wars of the United States was founded.

Until next time take care and may God bless you. If you know of any veteran, male or female, who served in a zone of war and who is of good moral character, please direct him or her to VFW Post 5127 where comradeship and mutual respect is abundant in a wholesome, family friendly environment.

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