President Emily Modlin welcomed all of the veterans who attended and expressed appreciation for serving their country. She also introduced members of her family who were also veterans of our country.
Also, at a separate dinner held recently, the local Rotary Club was also honored by the VFW by the presentation of a plaque of recognition.
Each veteran was given a challenge coin that morning by the local VFW. According to Rotary Club members, all branches of the service were represented as were those who had participated in many wars from WWII to the conflict in Iraq.
In regards to the challenge coin given out, when asked how the idea of giving a challenge coin got started, local VFW Commander Phillip Greenway said, "The challenge coin is significant because if you see a young soldier doing a good job, you walk up and shake his hand, turn that over (the challenge coin) and challenge them to keep doing what they're doing. Then in the next day or two you send them a letter that they can put in their personnel file," adding that the 1137th has its' own challenge coin as well as the VFW. He noted that the coin can represent whatever you want it to.
Continuing, Greenway noted, "We're going to give each member of the 1137th one next month (a welcome home coin)." He added that they would be waiting for them when they go back to work at the armory. However, Greenway added that as of this time, a time has not been designated for that.
A welcome home meal is still being planned by the local VFW to honor members of the 1137th and their families. Plans were to have it in January but due to the holidays as well as the business that they have had to attend to since their return, the meal will be at a later date. Earlier in the year Schilp Dodge had a cell phone drive which helped raise money to go toward this cause. Lowe Electric of Kennett has also expressed an interest in helping with this venture.
As well as planning for the welcome home meal for the 1137th, the VFW is now planning for its annual Cruise Party.
"That's our only fundraiser that we really do," Greenway said.
Funds raised from this event will go to fund scholarships, the Memorial Day event, Veterans Day event, soldiers departures, as well as maintenance of the VFW building.
VFW members are given 150 tickets to sell. Greenway notes that the expense of the tickets are $100 each.
"Actually, you're donating $50 and you get a meal and you get to enter a drawing." Various cash prizes are given out during the evening.
The event is open to anyone but a ticket is required to get into the event.
For more information regarding the event, contact Phillip Greenway at (573)888-1340.
In closing, Greenway had these remarks regarding the event held by the Rotary Club.
"As veterans, we owe a debt of gratitude to those who have secured our freedom and serve the national good. To those who served, their families, the fallen who gave their lives all those who answered the highest call, we salute you! May these challenge coins in a small way thank those of our greatest generation.