This time of the year, we reminisce. Many in the Blanchard Post family “have seen more Thanksgivings and Christmas than we will see.” Many senior citizen veterans of World War II, Korea and Vietnam are coming in and out of our lives.
It is what gets done and with whom that counts. Blanchard Post was looking for a person to help out with the newsletter, and I came forward in September 2014. In one short year, I have come to work closely with three great people; Barry Bedrosian, Mike Knight and Doug Hasbrook.
In February 2015, I began to write this column. Publisher John McIntyre and editor Rob Jonas have been great and enthusiastic. In March, Janice Irwin at the Bethlehem Public Library produced “The Veteran Next Door” public access TV show. The Town of Colonie Library produces another public access TV show, “Patriot Flight Honors the Military.”
As President of Patriot Flight Inc., the wide range of veterans, family and community have been inspiring. The trips to Washington, D.C., with the senior citizens veterans are best described as a “trip of memories for a lifetime.” In my two years with Patriot Flight, we’ve brought 456 veterans and guardians to the D.C. war memorials. They spread the word to thousands and are our backbone. Roseann Lohrey helped find some memorable veterans to go on our Oct. 3 flight.
In 2011, D-Day Revisited Association was started, and the first “D-Day Recognition and Remembrance Day” was held. It was a hunt for D-Day veterans around Albany. The initial event was held with 38 D-Day veterans and 300 people, and with support from Jim Morell at the Holiday Inn Express in Latham, a deep passion evolved. The event was held for the fifth consecutive year on June 6. Upcoming on Dec. 5 in conjunction with the Blue Star Mothers, Patriot Flight and D-Day Revisited, we are planning a special Veterans Christmas Party Reunion Fund Raiser at the Colonie Elks.
My 50th high school reunion was held on Sept. 25 and 26, and I saw a few fellow Blanchard Post members. A high school reunion is similar to Patriot Flight and D-Day Revisited events. Both remind us of our youth, our experiences and we reminisce.
Nobody better than a veteran deserves a reunion, a party and the deepest recognition for they sacrificed their youth and did their duty with character.
Josh Groban performed in Albany on Oct. 3 as Patriot Flight went to D.C. Josh sings a song on his Christmas CD entitled “Thankful.” It is a song that should play 12 months a year. Most importantly, we should all be “Thankful” to veterans for all they have done for us.
I am especially thankful to all the people that have helped keep the veterans memories alive. Let us all have a thankful and Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas season.
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