The Osage Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution honored and thanked over 100 local Vietnam Veterans with a commemorative luncheon Saturday, July 16 at the United Methodist Church Celebration Center.
Before lunch was served a small ceremony was given to the veterans. American Legion Post 642, led by Co-Captain Shane Cowgill, Jane Stewart, and Joe Zaremba, presented the flag while Ada Biggs, DAR member, led the group in singing the “Star Spangled Banner.”
Osage Chapter DAR Regent Arthea Wasson welcomed our veterans and introduced them to the Daughters of the American Revolution. The DAR was founded in 1890 as a non-profit, non-political volunteer women’s service organization dedicated to promoting patriotism, preserving American history, and securing America’s future through better education for children.
DAR members volunteer millions of service hours annually in their local communities including supporting active duty military personnel and assisting veteran patients, awarding thousands of dollars in scholarships and financial aid each year to students, and supporting schools for under-served children with annual donations exceeding $1 million dollars.
Following Wasson’s welcome message, Mary Francis Herndon, DAR member since 1968 and the 1996 and 1997 Women’s International Champion Whistler, entertained and recognized each branch of the military by whistling each branch song. The veterans were asked to stand and be recognized as their branch song was played.
Ada Biggs then led the group in signing “God Bless America” followed by the introduction of the two guest speakers for the event, Jim Gaertner and Larry Stevenson, both Vietnam veterans. They spoke about their experiences during their time served during the Vietnam War and the strong brotherhood among the men in attendance that day.
Before releasing for lunch and fellowship a prayer and blessing of the meal was said by Missouri State Chaplin, for the American Legion, Dr. Nicholas Gray.
During the lunch and fellowship the veterans were invited to stop by the display put together by the DAR in partnership with the U.S. Department of Defense, Vietnam War Commemorative. As part of this partnership each veteran left the luncheon with a Vietnam Veteran Lapel Pin.
Each living veteran who served active duty in the U.S. Armed Forces, regardless of location, during November 1, 1955, to May 15, 1975, is eligible to receive the pin as a lasting memento of our grateful nation.
Also, provided in the display was a memorial wreath to honor friends, family or comrades who lost their lives in the conflict or have since passed on. Veterans were asked to write those names on a yellow ribbon and pin to the wreath in their memory.
Prayer cards were also provided for any veteran who was in need of prayer for themselves or for a fellow comrade or their family. A special team of Stephen Ministers and Service Pastors would be available to pray over those requests.
The DAR would like thank several area businesses in their support of the event. First United Methodist Church Celebration Center donated the space for the luncheon, Tyson Foods donated chicken, Bing’s West manager Bob Brown donated two large cakes with the Vietnam Veteran’s Commemorative Seal, and Walmart donated plates, napkins, and utensils.
DAR also thanks the following individuals for making the dinner a success: Darla Weatherholt and Cheri Heeren, DAR members, and their friends Dave, Julia, and Christian Parker, who prepared and cooked the chicken. Mary Jeanette Hurt, DAR member, who played the piano during the luncheon and fellowship and Kevin Walker for documenting the event through his photography.
Release courtesy of Osage Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution member Megan Millsap.