Elks say thanks to veterans
Members of McMinnville Elks 1283, several of them veterans themselves, spent Sunday visiting vets in care homes.
The Veterans Day visits are a tradition for the club, which focuses its service activities on helping veterans, young people and those in need.
“Thank you for your service,” said Arlene Stricker, in charge of the project, and her fellow Elks as they met each man and woman who’d served in the military. “Men like you are why we are free,” she told them.
At Oakwood, Life Care Center and Osprey Court in McMinnville, and the West Valley’s Sheridan Care Center, the Elks distributed gift bags of toiletries and baseball caps. A grant from the Elks National Foundation covered the cost of the caps.
The visiting Elks also gave each veteran a card, which read in part: “For all that you have sacrificed, and everything you’ve done to help to make this world we share a safer, better one.”
“That’s sure nice of you,” said Don Smith, a veteran who lives at Oakwood.
Dianne Hays-Hatch, exalted ruler of Elks 1283, gently contradicted him. “No, it’s not nice of us,” said Hays-Hatch, a Navy veteran herself. “It was nice of you to do what you did to protect all of us.”
Elks also make sure vets in care homes are remembered during the Christmas season and on Memorial Day.
The first time Elk Ron Morton was asked to join the visitation group, he said, he was reluctant. But he quickly saw how much it means to the veterans. Now he wouldn’t miss the chance to go.
“When you see these guys smile, it just gives you a tingle,” Morton said.