For Our Veterans

This Sunday, Veteran’s Day will arrive on the heels of our Election Day, a day that with higher voter turnout saw some renewed commitment to participate in one of our key democratic responsibilities as citizens. The close proximity on the calendar seems appropriate since the very act of voting, or the freedom to carry out that act, is present because of the sacrifices of those who have fought for those freedoms.

All the things we do in our American lives are to some degree supported by the bravery of our vets.

So today, I will attend the Veteran’s Day Program at Owen Valley High School that is put on each year through the work of principal Rhonda Schafer and ROTC Instructor Lt. Col. Dave Allen. This wonderful presentation, with many Owen County veterans on hand as guests, is a wonderful way to remind Owen Valley students and our community of the importance of honoring our heroes. Spending an hour in reflection on our freedoms and to demonstrate our thanks to our armed forces is another responsibility we have as citizens.

When I visited Spencer Elementary this week I saw that the students and teachers were preparing their own Veteran’s Day observance. Red, white, and blue bunting was ready to be hung and class bulletin boards were decorated with tributes to our veterans. I’m sure our other schools are joining in on the observance of this important day. The exercise in reverence for others who have given us the gift of their service, their bravery, or their lives will be an important part of our children’s education.

Your Owen County Community Foundation joins the community in our dedication to the support of our veterans. We maintain several funds that either support directly programs for Owen County veterans or honor the memories of the fallen.

The Veterans of Owen County Fund accepts and holds donations to purchase replacement  veterans transport vehicles that are used to take our local heroes to medical appointments at the VA or other out of town locations. With great community support we have already made a grant of $15,000 to the Owen County Veteran Affairs Office to purchase their current transport vehicle.

The War Memorial Fund at OCCF collects gifts to help with the expenses of maintaining the War Memorial on the west side of the Courthouse Square. We want to keep the memorial looking good to ensure that it properly honors those whose names are listed on its walls.

We also honor and remember individual veterans with permanent funds. We have the honor of maintaining the PFC Brett Wood Memorial Scholarship Fund that honors this young hero who lost his life in Afghanistan in 2011. This young man gave the ultimate gift in defense of his country – our country. We remember him each year when we present a scholarship in his memory to a graduating senior from his alma mater. It may be brief but for a moment each year at Owen Valley High School Awards Night, students and their families are reminded of Brett’s heroism.

And we have other local vets names listed throughout our fund list. Great citizens and veterans like Jim Fulford and Bob Babbs and many others. These were important people to our community and our country so we’re proud to be part of their permanent memorials.

If you would like to make a charitable donation to support any of these funds, checks can be made out to the OCCF with a note designating the fund you would like to support in the memo or attached note. You can also recognize an individual veteran in your life with a gift in their honor or memory to one of these funds. Let us know and we’ll send your vet a card announcing your gift (not the amount, of course).

Join your community today and this weekend in taking a few moments to remember the sacrifice of the veterans in our community and all across the United States. If we can help you to honor them let us know.

Your Owen County Community Foundation is committed to helping our communities become better places to live, grow, and work. We value community involvement and charitable spirit – and our veterans. If you would like to know more about how you can work with this local charity to use your charitable gifts or estate plan to help Owen County vets, contact us. Give me a call at 812-829-1725, email me at mark@owencountycf.org, visit us online on our Facebook page or website www.owencountycf.org, or stop by and visit us in our new office on the south side of the Courthouse Square at 60 E. Market Street in Spencer.

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