Last updated: February 14. 2014 2:12PM - 506 Views

Courtesy photoValentine cards went out to veterans as part of the VETCARD campaign.
Courtesy photoValentine cards went out to veterans as part of the VETCARD campaign.
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Newspaper obituary announcements often carry next to them the image of the American flag, indicating that the deceased person was a military veteran. Almost every day out of the year one can find new flags, a dozen or more in a week sometimes, hundreds over the course of a year. The sad fact is we are losing our World War Two and Korean veterans at a tremendous rate. In fact, by the time you finish reading this short article, several more will have passed away. The day will come in the not so distant future when they will all be gone.

The VETCARD CAMPAIGN was started in November 2013 in Buncombe County as a way of honoring these men and women while they are still with us to enjoy the recognition. The purpose behind the project is quite simple, that is, to see that as many older North Carolina veterans receive a card of appreciation and support. Many of these vets are currently confined to care facilities or homebound due to ill health and disability. Many have at this point in their lives lost most of their friends and family. Many struggle daily with chronic pain issues, physical distress and emotional loneliness. The VETCARD CAMPAIGN is a simple but powerful way to help mitigate these conditions and remind these great men and women they are remembered and appreciated for their invaluable contributions to our nation’s welfare and safety.

Currently a number of groups in the area are participating in the card project. However, given the present number of outstanding requests for cards, many more cardmakers are needed. Cards can be constructed out of the simplest of materials and are fun to create. Absolutely no special artistic talent or ability is required to create a card, only a heartfelt willingness to help. Participants who do not wish to create their own cards are welcome to use preprinted ones and simply add their personal message of support. All the cards the project receives will be shared with regional VA care facilities and hospitals, as well as with private nursing homes where veterans reside, as well as with those veterans who are homebound or homeless.

Anyone interested in participating can contact Joe Elliott at 828-775-4523 or jpelliott16@aol.com.

One of the best things about a project like this is that it benefits both the sender and receiver. Clinical studies have shown that kind acts performed on a regular basis actually enhance the sense of well being of those who engage in them by increasing the amount of “good chemicals” in the brain. As it turns out, the very same thing happens with the recipient of the effort, in this case the veteran who receives a card. Imagine for a moment an older man or woman who may not be feeling so good on a particular day being handed a brightly colored card that says “You are Appreciated!” That has to make their day just a little brighter and a little better.

The project makes a great one for church youth and adult groups, schools, both public and private, community clubs such as Rotary and Lions Club, Scouts, 4-H, as well as for families and individuals who wish to contribute. There are no quotas to meet, one can make as many or as few cards as one wants. There are no fees associated with the project. Participants can request that cards be shared with veterans they personally know or within their own community generally. All ages and ability levels are welcomed. Everybody is needed.

While it is only fitting and proper that we pay tribute to our veterans after they are gone — why wait? Why not do something now while they are still here, still have eyes and ears to hear and appreciate our expressions of gratitude? These men and women have given so much on behalf of our country over the years. They stand in a long and hallowed tradition of public service and personal sacrifice. They have done so much for the protection and welfare for our generation and future generations to come. Now it’s our turn to say thank you. Please join the VETCARD CAMPAIGN today.

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