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Boots on the Ground

By Thomas Corder,
Commander VFW Post 5127

Members of various veterans’ organizations wear distinctive headgear that identifies them as belonging to that particular group. Almost all are based upon the overseas cap that was worn by the American “doughboy” during World War I. They are of differing colors and possess different insignias, but are, basically, alike in appearance, which makes it easy for the public to mistake a member of one organization for that of another.

The basic headgear worn by members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States is green, although it appears to be brown. However, within our organization, another color of cap may occasionally be found. This is the color white.

Each year the Department of Kentucky, which oversees all VFW posts in the state, is authorized to issue white caps to Post Commanders and Post Quartermasters in recognition of their having met certain criteria for their post. Those criteria are sometimes impossibly difficult to meet and only a few white caps are issued each year. To receive one is a great honor, indeed. This year, at the State Convention in June, Post 5127 in Whitley City was issued two of them, one to former Post Commander Joe B. Worley and one to our current Post Quartermaster Danny Delaughter, Sr.

The white cap issued to the Post Commander is, essentially, a post award. After all, without the good works of the entire post, the Commander would not have received it. But the cap awarded to the Post Quartermaster is given to one individual whose diligence and dedication to duty has resulted in the highest recognition possible at the State level.

The Post Quartermaster is the keeper of the books in the post and the caretaker of all post property. Each month the trustees of the post audit his books and every penny must be accounted for, as well as the location of all property. It is an awesome responsibility and one that few individuals are willing to take on. Fortunately, we have someone who has.

Danny Delaughter, Sr. is a Marine Corps veteran, but came to McCreary County following his retirement from the U.S. Army. He served in the Gulf War as a member of the Army’s Transportation Corps. During the buildup to the war, he was responsible for the movement of troops in and out of Kuwait and performed his duties so well that he was later awarded the Bronze Star for Meritorious Service. The man knows how to get things done. In addition to serving as Post Quartermaster, Delaughter also was the post Service Officer for many years, working long hours, and without pay, to assist McCreary County veterans and their families in their quest for justice and deserved benefits from the Federal Government. That work was recently highlighted in an article appearing in the magazine ‘Checkpoint’ published by the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States. Although he has recently moved to Pulaski County, he remains, truly, one of McCreary County’s hometown heroes. Nobody deserved the white cap more than he.

On May 29, our post conducted its annual Memorial Day ceremony at the courthouse. This was, in some aspects, a sad day for us, in that our beloved comrade Jimmie Greene was not present, although I believe that he was with us in spirit. Our speakers were outstanding, the patriotic theme was inspiring, and I think we departed for home with a greater desire to be better Americans and more appreciative of the sacrifices made by those for whom the day was intended. So, to all who came out to be with us, I extend my heartfelt gratitude.

Until next time, may God bless you and may we rest safe and secure in the palm of His hand. And, don’t forget to thank a veteran for his or her service.

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