Dear Editor:

All writers in Op Ed are here to inform and acknowledge issues of importance to our communities, however these writings represent the views and opinions of the authors and not necessarily of The Advertiser.

I think that the general public does not know all the things the American Legion Ladies Auxiliary is involved in for our veterans.  Most folks see the ladies on Memorial Day weekend with the distribution of the Flanders Field Red Poppies and think that is all we do.

We also provide gift bags for Fisher House on Walton Way in Augusta, each December.  The Fisher House is where family members can stay at no charge.

The Auxiliary purchases and delivers over $200 worth of needed items twice a year in January and July to Fisher House at Fort Gordon, “home” for family of military persons at Eisenhower.

We also take veterans to medical appointments. Making sure their needs are met to avoid homeless veterans in our community, and we provide breakfast items to the veterans and family members with morning appointments at Charlie Norwood VA Hospital during Valentine week. This Auxiliary has been doing this for over 20 years.

When we are informed of a veteran who is in the hospital and has a need for clothing or personal items, we get that item to the Service Officer for the veteran in need.

Now we have started a new program to honor our Departed Heroes. This is the program called “Wreaths Across America” which covered over 2000 cemeteries; this past December, 35,000,000 wreaths for veterans’ graves.  We ladies and 21 volunteers placed 262 wreaths at Sunset Gardens on Hwy. 23.

This program was started in 2007 by the Worcester family in order to honor the veterans in Arlington Cemetery.  It has grown nationwideand millions of volunteers place wreaths on the second Saturday in December. Individuals and large companies (for example, General motors, Amazon) make contributions to fund the program nationwide.  Several trucking companies provide the delivery for wreaths, created in Harrison, Maine.

We have selected 10 cemeteries in Edgefield out of the over 200 to place wreaths in December 2021. Each wreath costs $15.00. I will be soliciting funds in the community. If you would like to purchase a wreath for your family members please let me know.  Or, you may send a check to me made out to “Wreaths Across America.”

I thank all who participated in December 2020 and am asking for volunteers for Dec. 18, 2021. Call me if you need information. There are over 1000 Veteran Heroes in the ten selected cemeteries.

All eligible persons are invited to come and join the Auxiliary.

Carolyn Piekielniak

Community Service Rep.