By KATHY STUTZMAN
WCPL PR Manager
November is the month set aside to recognize those who have fought for our freedom: armed service veterans.
Veteran’s Day is celebrated throughout the nation as a way to honor their service. Many people will have a day off from work or school to observe it. Often, veterans are given free meals as a way of saying, “Thank you.”
As a veteran, this means a lot to me. I served during the Vietnam War Era and while I wasn’t sent into battle overseas, I was trained for the possibility. I lost high school classmates to the war. I had a cousin who fought overseas and still won’t talk about it.
In addition, I had uncles who fought in several different wars. Wars are a life-changing experience for those who fought and for those still at home.
I think that’s why when I first heard about Treasures for Troops it struck a chord in my heart. When the idea of partnering with them was brought to the staff, they quickly said yes. We were excited to be able to express in some way how the troops’ service and sacrifice was appreciated and to show them that they hadn’t been forgotten.
We had our first opportunity to reach out to some of the troops overseas just last month. As one of the pick up/drop off points for TFT’s Halloween treat bags, we were privileged to hear the comments of people who participated. I recall a senior veteran expressing his gratitude that we were doing this. It really touched his heart. The community caught the vision and we had to call the organizer to bring in additional bags for people to fill.
This month, Treasures for Troops has created a special exhibit in our lower level display case. It focuses on the efforts of the organization and the servicemen who have been touched by TFT. I encourage you to come in and see the photos of those who have received treat bags, stockings, etc., over the years and read their notes of appreciation. A picture says a thousand words. See the faces, read the words of those who have been blessed by the TFT organization. Remember, you were a part of this!
Later this month, we will once again be a pick up/drop off point for TFT. This time, it will be Christmas stockings. The list of stocking items needed along with instructions is scheduled to be here on Monday, Nov. 19. Participants are to purchase stockings of regular size and return the filled stockings no later than Friday, Nov. 30. We invite you to participate in this special holiday outreach for troops overseas.
Many of you may be unaware of the diverse and numerous battles our troops are now fighting and have fought through in their service to the USA. It’s not just a physical battle on land, air, or sea; it’s a mental battle as well. We have a host of resources to help you gain insight, information, and inspiration concerning our troops.
Here are a few to start with:
- Vietnam Memorial film with Jessica Savitch
- Back in Action/David Rozelle. A veteran relates his war experience and how he overcame being an amputee.
- To Kingdom Come/Robert J. Mrazek. A saga of survival in the air war over Germany.
- Last Men Out/Bob Drury. The riveting story of the last 11 U.S. soldiers to escape South Vietnam in 1975.
- Active Duty: Letters to home from Iraq: The longest 18 months in the life of a National Guard soldier/Jason Adams.
- Band of Sisters: American women at war in Iraq/Kristen Holmstedt. Groundbreaking and heart wrenching stories of women in combat.
There are many more resources for you to select from. It is my hope that as you read or watch them, you will feel a deeper connection to those who have suffered hardship while fighting for freedom around the world.
Rediscover your library! Visit us in person, at www.warsawlibrary.org, our Facebook page (warsawpubliclibrary) for the latest news and updates, and our Pinterest account (warsawlibrary) for recipes, craft ideas, educational information, recommended reading and more.