Members of Benton Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2671 and its Auxiliary will be taking donations for buddy poppies on the Benton Public Square and other locations Friday and Saturday, Oct. 16 and 17.
The Auxiliary will also be taking donations for their "Poppy Plates" at area businesses and from individuals. These plates are decorated with poppies and identify the donors while being displayed in the post.
"VFW bylaws require that the proceeds on Buddy Poppies must be used to benefit disabled and needy veterans and the families of such veterans right here in the community," Post Commander Gary Fravel said.
In 1923, the VFW was the first veterans organization to promote a nationally organized campaign for the annual distribution of poppies assembled by disabled or hospitalized veterans. That tradition continues today, with more that 18 million poppies assembled by paid, disabled and hospitalized veterans each year.
The minimal cost to the VFW posts for the Buddy Poppies provides compensation to the veterans who assemble the poppies, provides financial assistance in maintaining state and national veteran rehabilitation and service programs and partially supports the VFW National Home for orphans and widows of the nation's veterans.
The VFW, founded in 1899, is the nation's oldest major veteran's organization. Its almost 2 million members include veterans of World War II, Vietnam and Korea. The newer members come from the American military actions in Haiti, Somalia, the Persian Gulf, Granada, Panama, Lebanon, Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as expeditionary and occupational forces.
For more information on the VFW, contact a VFW Post officer at the American Legion on South Main Street in Benton.