Craig Andresen

Honoring Fallen Veterans – We Can DO This

By Craig Andresen on May 26, 2012 at 5:44 am

Friends and Patriots,

It is Memorial Day weekend and where we, at The National Patriot, would normally publish a story regarding our heroes, this year I am asking for your help.

We hear, every year around this time and sometimes around Veteran’s Day…Stories of soldier’s graves in states of disrepair. We shake our heads, say it’s awful, and wish it were not the case.

It doesn’t have to be the case. We can make a difference.

In every town and city, in communities and neighborhoods across this great nation, there are cemeteries. Within them are the final resting places of our soldiers. Men and women who either died in the service of our country or those who came home, lived and died after their service.

Military grave, many of them, go back to into the ages of time. Many of these heroes families have died or moved away. Those graves receive what care the groundskeepers can provide but that care is dwindling too.

Many cemeteries have faced cutbacks on grounds crews or face financial shortages which reduce the care they can provide.

This is where we can help but before I get into that, allow me to relate a few examples of the disrepair.

In some places, thieves steal the brass flower vases from veteran’s graves. In other places, the markers themselves have been damaged, vandalized or simply weathered with age.

Some cemeteries have more military graves to contend with and fewer people employed to tend them.

Some are overgrown with weeds or tall grass.

These are just a few of the problems but my friends and fellow Patriots…WE can handle this.

Here is the idea.

Go to your local or community cemetery and speak to the management. Tell them you want to do something for the military sites there.

Gather your Patriot friends. Contact the local Boy and Girl Scouts to look for more volunteers. If you have a local VFW, they can help find volunteers too. Local or regional motorcycle clubs are a great resource as well!! Explain the issue and how you intend to help and set a time for a group meeting.

Gather your volunteer’s email addresses and set up an email newsletter to better stay in contact with them!

Walk through the cemetery and identify the military graves and note what problems you see.

Go to your local bank and sit down with the bank president. Tell him or her that you are part of The National Patriot Honors and that you and your volunteers intend to maintain the military graves at a certain cemetery. Ask the bank president to set up an account where people can make donations and ask about the bank matching those donations in some way.

Follow up with your volunteers and let them know what you have in place. It will motivate them and excite them to know that things are happening!

Get in touch with your local media. TV, radio stations and newspapers. Ask for time or print space. Explain your project and that this is not a one-time deal. This will be an ongoing maintenance program for the cemetery you have adopted.

Once donations start rolling in, begin making the purchases you will need. Vases that need to be replaced, cleaning supplies, trash bags, small tools such as rakes, trimmers, weed pullers etc. Talk to a local Home Depot, they might be interested in assisting with some items for promotional mentions on radio or in news articles.

You’ll have a good idea of what you need based on your initial walk through of the cemetery and the number of National Patriot Honors volunteers you have assembled.

Pick a Saturday. For instance, the 1st Saturday of each month. Meet your National Patriot Honors volunteer team at the cemetery and start cleaning up around those fallen heroes graves!!!

As things progress…Purchase a small flag for each and every military grave in your adopted cemetery and on special occasions, Memorial Day weekend, Veteran’s Day, Independence Day etc. Meet with your team at the cemetery the day before and place one flag at each military grave. After the occasion or weekend, return and pick them up and save them for the next time.

It’s simple really. The military graves in the cemetery you adopt will soon become the most well cared for sites in that cemetery! They will reflect the pride and respect due our fallen veterans. All who visit your cemetery will see those sites and will notice them!

As others hear of your efforts, they too will form volunteer teams. Assist them as they start their groups and share your knowledge with them.

Once or twice a year, your National Patriot Honors team can sponsor a family picnic in a local or neighborhood park to honor veterans and their families. I’d be willing to bet a local grocery store would donate burgers, hot dogs and sides to that cause if you publicize them!!!

ALWAYS keep your National Patriot Honors team in the news for your efforts. Keep them up to date on what you have done and what you need.

I will happily make myself available for interviews via phone here at The National Patriot. Contact me via our email address, admin@thenationalpatriot.com and let me know how I can assist your team in the press.

At thenationalpatriot.com we will designate a NEW PAGE to this project. Send us before and after photos and photos of your National Patriot Honors team at work! We will designate groups by state and help to draw attention to your efforts!!!

Come on Patriots!

Our lost veterans have had our backs since day one. Shouldn’t we show them the respect they’ve earned? Let’s make it our mission to make sure they rest in peace by maintaining their sites with Honor.

The National Patriot Honors!!!

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One Response to “Honoring Fallen Veterans – We Can DO This”

  1. Pastor emeritus Nathan Bickel Says:

    Patriot:

    Thank you for the reminder to honor our past and fallen heroes! Your specific suggestion with practical ideas is a wonderful way to honor those who sacrificed so much, – and for some of them, who gave their very lives.