To the editor:

When you are asked to donate for Buddy Poppy card or Buddy Poppy during the upcoming campaign in this community, do it with a big smile on your face. Our week starts May 20.

Remember that is the most grateful investment of your money you can ever make.

Members of the Auxiliary of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Charles Leuthard Post 5039 will be distributing Buddy Poppies in the area from May 20 to 25. VFW bylaws require the proceeds from our distribution of poppies must be used to benefit disabled and needy veterans and the widows and orphans of deceased veterans.

Our Buddy Poppy card says it all: "A veteran is someone who, at one point in their life, wrote a blank check made payable to The United State of America, for an amount up to and including their life."

Our local auxiliary has donated this past year to veterans homes and hospitals in Fergus Falls, St. Cloud and outpatient clinics in Montevideo and Alexandria, VA home, Fisher House and Prodigal House in Minneapolis and the VA Medical Center in Fargo, North Dakota. With funds from Buddy Poppies we have purchased sewing needs for our sewers who last year sewed bed throws, tote bags, laundry bags and neck pillows for our local veterans and spouses at West Wind Village and St. Cloud Medical Center. Funds were also used for birthday parties at West Wind Village, Operation Uplink, Armed Forces Center at the airport, etc. Three quilts were mailed to soldiers overseas. The VFW National Home in Eaton Rapids, Michigan, receives money from the sales of Buddy Poppies. The national home is for military families in need of living quarters and financial help. Minnesota has a national home.

Every step in the production and sale of the Buddy Poppy serves a useful purpose. The poppies are assembled by needy and disabled veterans at VA hospitals. They are paid for their work and the income to the state and national organizations help provide needed services to disabled veterans, widows and orphans of deceased veterans. The income to the auxiliary is used entirely for aid to needy veterans and families. The wearing of the poppy on Memorial Day symbolizes the nation's grief for its departed heroes.

You have been a very generous community in the past and we do appreciate it very much. When our Buddy Poppy volunteers visit you, we hope you will continue that good support.

Wear your poppy proudly. It's a symbol of the memory of those who have given their lives for their country and a symbol of concern and compassion for those who are disabled. Never forgot our veterans.


Joan Kopacek, president, Janet Malo and Helen Kill, chairwomen of the Buddy Poppy Program for the Auxiliary to Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5039, Morris