By Thomas Corder,
Chaplain VFW Post 5127
The mission of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States is two-fold: to serve the needs of veterans of war and to serve the community. For more than two decades now, McCreary County’s own Post 5127 has excelled in both of these goals and continues to do so.
When American soldiers returned home from the war with Spain in 1899, their efforts and sacrifices were unappreciated by the very government that had sent them off to fight. The Spanish-American War was a political war, very much like the Vietnam War, but the politicians in Congress did not seem to understand that soldiers, sailors and Marines are above politics.
They do not make policies. They do not decide whether or not our nation should engage in war. They do not serve only one political party. They exist for only one reason, to uphold the Constitution and defend the United States from enemies, both foreign and domestic. It was because of the shoddy way in which veterans were treated when they came home from Cuba and the Philippines in 1899 that the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States was created. Sad to say, in many respects, the same conditions and attitudes of our leaders on the national level still exist, today.
Post 5127 is proud of the good work it does for the veterans of McCreary County. We serve, not only veterans of war, but all veterans who call upon us to help. We also serve the families of deceased veterans, many of whom are not aware of the Benefits that have been earned for them by the sacrifice of their departed loved ones. We do this through a well-trained Service Officer who devotes much time and effort on behalf of the veteran population in the county, so much so that his work was recently featured in a magazine of national distribution call Checkpoint. At a recent meeting of the VFW, James Curry, the Commander of the Department of Kentucky, noted that Post 5127 is not only the best VFW post in the district, but also one of the best in the State of Kentucky. That is a high compliment for a county that seldom receives much credit for anything of value.
With the tourist season getting in gear in McCreary County, Post 5127 is answering the call to help keep our roadways looking good. We recently took part in the Highway 90 Cleanup and have adopted that stretch of Highway 1651 that extends from north Whitley City to south Whitley City, a distance of about two miles. Many of our members are elderly and our resources are limited, but we intend to do as much as we can to keep our portion of the road clean and presentable to visitors. One of our member, Comrade Derek Jones, has devoted his life to keeping McCreary County clean, even though he is a long-distance truck driver and is home for only short periods of time. I doubt that we will ever be able to live up to his high standards, but we are going to try.
On Memorial Day, Post 5127 will, again, be hosting our annual remembrance ceremony at the Courthouse in Whitley City. These special events give our members an excuse to put on their old uniforms and show their appreciation of those who have given their all to our nation, and we always look forward to doing that. So, please join us and show that you, too, care about such things.
In the meantime, please call me if I, or my comrades, can be of service to you. Take care and may God richly bless you and our great nation.