A Year in Review: Veteran services and non-profits


By Jennifer Woods - jwoods@aimmediamidwest.com



American Legion Riders Post 25 and the VFW Riders Post 3762 hosted two events on 2020 New Year’s Day to support veterans. The Legion Riders hosted their annual “Polar Bear Run,” part of which included breakfast, and had a focus on raising monetary donations and canned goods to donate. Following that event was the VFW Riders’ annual “Frozen Chozen Ride,” which asked participants to assist the Legion Riders with donations.

American Legion Riders Post 25 and the VFW Riders Post 3762 hosted two events on 2020 New Year’s Day to support veterans. The Legion Riders hosted their annual “Polar Bear Run,” part of which included breakfast, and had a focus on raising monetary donations and canned goods to donate. Following that event was the VFW Riders’ annual “Frozen Chozen Ride,” which asked participants to assist the Legion Riders with donations.


Record Herald file photos

Locals in Fayette County took time to collect and distribute flags to graves, including at Washington Cemetery, for Memorial Day as enough flags were unable to be purchased and distributed through normal means due to a shortage related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many others were taking time to visit and decorate grave sites.


Record Herald file photos

For Memorial Day, according to Kristi Lynch, herself, Lori Graham and Halona McCracken gathered 3,000 flags along with numerous local volunteers to flag over nine local cemeteries. This was done following the announcement that flags were not going to be done this year due to shortages. Volunteers numbered over 1,000, according to Lynch. “Our passed Veterans in Fayette County were honored,” explained Lynch on social media. “It takes a lot of heart and volunteers with even bigger hearts to accomplish something like this. Makes me proud to live in Fayette County.”


Record Herald file photos

Throughout 2020, several non-profits provided activities and fundraisers with the intent of helping local veterans. Let’s take a glance:

VFW Riders Post 3762

-Regularly assisted local veterans in various ways including building ramps and cutting down trees

-New Year’s Day held the annual “Frozen Chozen Ride” which included asking participants to assist the American Legion Riders Post 25 with donations for their event, the “Annual Polar Bear Run,” which was happening the same day.

-Held the “Never Say No To Veterans Poker Run” which included a raffle, live performance by IRONGATE, a custom chopper giveaway, a poker run and dinner. The chopper was returned to the post by the winner, a Vietnam veteran from Columbus named Mike Galloway. Galloway wanted the post to re-raffle the bike to assist veterans further.

-Held the seventh-annual “Warrior Run.” During this event, the custom chopper was re-raffled. Proceeds were not only able to help local veterans, but funds were able to be donated to The Southern Ohio Buckeye Bikers as many of their events had to be canceled during the pandemic, and both non-profits tend to help one another.

-During the beginning of the pandemic, made bulk purchases of grocery items, organized the items into care packages, and then delivered 50 packages weekly to veterans, the elderly and disabled within the community. Those who needed the assistance (due to having trouble with funds, getting to stores while trying to remain at a distance due to being high risk, etc.) simply called a phone number to be placed on the list to receive a care package that week.

-Assisted with the first-ever Fayette County “Silent Watch Veteran Suicide Awareness” event.

American Legion Post 25

-Held its annual “Polar Bear Run” on New Year’s Day to raise money and food donations.

-Although the American Legion Buckeye Boys State program and The American Legion Ladies Auxiliary Buckeye Girls State program were cancelled due to the pandemic, the Legion hosted a dinner honoring the 2020 local members.

-Hosted breakfasts that were free to veterans and cost approximately $7 for other community members that wanted to socialize and enjoy a homemade meal. The breakfasts had to be paused for a few months during the pandemic but resumed in September.

Hearts Hands Home (chapter of Blue Star Mothers of America”

-Hosted an event at which “The Menus” (a cover band) played live and a raffle was held.

-Organized and took responsibility for the funds, permission and information to have military banners placed throughout downtown Washington Court House. A dedication ceremony was then held.

Flags over Fayette LLC

-The event, “Flags over Fayette,” happened again in 2020 on “Flag Day (June 14)” with volunteers placing approximately 2,000 small flags along major roads in Washington C.H. as a way to show patriotism.

-A subscription service, “Flags of Freedom,” was started for the community. For $50 a year (which would go to local veteran non-profits), a flag would be placed in the yard of the subscriber or a veteran whose subscription was gifted. The flag was planned to be placed for holidays then removed afterward, but it was decided to leave the flags up to show unity and support during the pandemic.

Fayette County Veteran Service Commission

-Hosted the first-ever Fayette County “Silent Watch Veteran Suicide Awareness” event. The purpose of this event was to draw attention to the number of veterans who commit suicide on average, which increased during the coronavirus pandemic. There were several entities present to assist with giving information and contacts to veterans.

-Kept flags in-office for military funerals

-Although the Service Commission typically provides 13 cemeteries in Fayette County with flags for Memorial Day, due to production shortages this year during the pandemic, the needed 6,000 flags were unable to be obtained.

Fayette County Honor Guard

-The Honor Guard is comprised of members from various entities including The American Legion, DAV, Am Vets, VFW and the Fayette County Veteran Services Office.

-The Honor Guard provides various services regularly, including military funerals, flag presentations, Memorial Day services, Fourth of July, flag folding, flag retirement ceremonies, etc. They typically do over 100 services per year, although the pandemic this year made some services challenging to provide.

To learn more, become members or to follow these various non-profits, please see the following:

-The VFW Riders Post 3762 can be followed on its Facebook page, “VFW Riders Post 3762.”

-Those interested in becoming members of the American Legion, who have had an honorable discharge, are now able to do so. The national headquarters of The American Legion has announced new dates to qualify for membership in local Legions. Congress has authorized the Legion to open dates for membership from Dec. 7 of 1941 to the present, making any veteran with an honorable discharge eligible for membership in the Legion. For more information about the breakfasts or membership, call 740-335-4990.

-Those wishing to join the Fayette County Honor Guard must have been in the military and have received an honorable discharge. Both men and women are welcome. Questions can be directed to Glenn Rankin at 740-505-9335 or Paul Sands at 740-323-6416.

-“Flags Over Fayette” can be followed through their Facebook page, “Flags Over Fayette — Public.”

-For updates from “Hearts Hands Home,” follow its Facebook page, “Hearts Hands Home Blue Star Mothers.” Donation proposals, addresses for military care packages, and membership requests can be emailed to Chapter President Mindy Wilson at mindylwilson315@yahoo.com.

Reach journalist Jennifer Woods at 740-313-0355.

American Legion Riders Post 25 and the VFW Riders Post 3762 hosted two events on 2020 New Year’s Day to support veterans. The Legion Riders hosted their annual “Polar Bear Run,” part of which included breakfast, and had a focus on raising monetary donations and canned goods to donate. Following that event was the VFW Riders’ annual “Frozen Chozen Ride,” which asked participants to assist the Legion Riders with donations.
https://www.recordherald.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/27/2020/11/web1_20200101_121011.jpgAmerican Legion Riders Post 25 and the VFW Riders Post 3762 hosted two events on 2020 New Year’s Day to support veterans. The Legion Riders hosted their annual “Polar Bear Run,” part of which included breakfast, and had a focus on raising monetary donations and canned goods to donate. Following that event was the VFW Riders’ annual “Frozen Chozen Ride,” which asked participants to assist the Legion Riders with donations. Record Herald file photos

Locals in Fayette County took time to collect and distribute flags to graves, including at Washington Cemetery, for Memorial Day as enough flags were unable to be purchased and distributed through normal means due to a shortage related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many others were taking time to visit and decorate grave sites.
https://www.recordherald.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/27/2020/11/web1_20200525_123842.jpgLocals in Fayette County took time to collect and distribute flags to graves, including at Washington Cemetery, for Memorial Day as enough flags were unable to be purchased and distributed through normal means due to a shortage related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Many others were taking time to visit and decorate grave sites. Record Herald file photos

For Memorial Day, according to Kristi Lynch, herself, Lori Graham and Halona McCracken gathered 3,000 flags along with numerous local volunteers to flag over nine local cemeteries. This was done following the announcement that flags were not going to be done this year due to shortages. Volunteers numbered over 1,000, according to Lynch. “Our passed Veterans in Fayette County were honored,” explained Lynch on social media. “It takes a lot of heart and volunteers with even bigger hearts to accomplish something like this. Makes me proud to live in Fayette County.”
https://www.recordherald.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/27/2020/11/web1_processed-graves-flags-1-.jpgFor Memorial Day, according to Kristi Lynch, herself, Lori Graham and Halona McCracken gathered 3,000 flags along with numerous local volunteers to flag over nine local cemeteries. This was done following the announcement that flags were not going to be done this year due to shortages. Volunteers numbered over 1,000, according to Lynch. “Our passed Veterans in Fayette County were honored,” explained Lynch on social media. “It takes a lot of heart and volunteers with even bigger hearts to accomplish something like this. Makes me proud to live in Fayette County.” Record Herald file photos

By Jennifer Woods

jwoods@aimmediamidwest.com