Armed Forces Day honors all members of military |

Armed Forces Day honors all members of military

Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4265
Patrick Kelly

Although it may be the month’s biggest holiday, Memorial Day is not the only time to honor members of the military in May.

Armed Forces Day on Saturday is another national holiday that provides an opportunity to acknowledge the service of men and women from all branches of the United States military.

“It’s another way of recognizing,” said Mark Wick, quartermaster at Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4265 in Craig.

Wick added that while the holiday might not personally carry the same weight as Veterans Day or Memorial Day, it is always great for Americans to remember veterans and current service members.

Proclaimed by President Harry Truman on Feb. 27, 1950, Armed Forces Day was intended to celebrate the unity of the military’s separate branches and inform civilians.

According to the U.S. Defense Department, “It was designed to expand public understanding of what type of job is performed and the role of the military in civilian life…. And it was a day to honor and acknowledge the people of the Armed Forces of the United States.”

Since the initial proclamation 66 years ago, the nation and its leaders have continued to honor servicemen and women spread across the globe on Armed Forces Day.

“They are visible evidence of our determination to meet any threat to the peace with measured strength and high resolve,” said President John F. Kennedy in a 1963 address.

In Craig, members of the VFW and American Legion Post 62 embrace the opportunity to support veterans and their role in the community.

VFW Post 4265 Commander Johnny Garcia said veterans are planning to hold a fundraiser over the weekend but he is still working on gathering volunteers.

If everything falls into place, members of the VFW will be posted at Murdoch’s Home and Ranch Supply on Saturday and City Market on Sunday to accept donations and hand out red poppies, a symbol stemming from the World War I poem “In Flanders Field.”

Garcia said all the money raised stays in the community and helps local veterans.

“This supports the disabled veterans, supports our scholarship fund and all the activities we do in the community,” he said.

American Legion Post 62 Adjutant Brian Baxter said the camaraderie and collaboration between members of the armed forces is always evident, on duty and off.

“The VFW and the Legion work together just like the services work together,” he said.

Garcia said there is one primary motivator driving the actions of Craig’s service members — love.

“The love of country, love of people, love of freedom,” he said. “I mean it’s love.”

Contact Patrick Kelly at 970-875-1795 or Contact Patrick Kelly at 970-875-1795 or or follow him on Twitter @M_PKelly.Contact Patrick Kelly at 970-875-1795 or or follow him on Twitter @M_PKelly.

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