Vets active during holidays
Ken Kraft knows what it means to be a combat veteranKraft, the post commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Three Rivers Post 1324 in Oregon City, suffered the loss of both knees in a mortar attack in Iraq in 2005. He had 24 surgeries in two years and had to l cheap ugg boots earn how to walk and talk all over againAnd right now, Kraft is focusing his energies on the VFW post in Oregon City. Last year all the hard work he and his fellow members put in paid off, when Post 1324 was awarded an All American Post for the first time in its historyPost 1324 was given its Congressional charter in 1925, but the national All American designation for 2012 13 was its first award of this kindrecognition is for the best of the best. It means we met the membership requirements, and we have life in the post, Kraft said, noting that the local organization has about 380 members, most hailing from Oregon City, West Linn, Gladstone, Clackamas, Lake Oswego and Happy Valley. There are about 85,000 posts nationwide, with about 2 million membersKraft said he is expecting to be recognized as an All American post again in 2014, adding that the VFW the nation oldest and largest combat veterans service organization, and it endures through every generation of living combat veteransSeason of giving is all year
One of the reasons the Oregon City based nonprofit organization won the award is for the numerous ways VFW members serve the community. The holiday season is a busy time of the year for members; they just hosted their annual Christmas party on Dec. 15, feeding around 150 people and handing out toys and gif cheap ugg boots ts to childrenEvery Friday night, post members cook a dinner and welcome anyone from the community to attend. The steak dinner on Dec. every Sunday. Anyone is welcome, Kraft saidOther activities this time of the year include working with units at Camp Withycombe in Clackamas, giving free Christmas trees to vets, and providing free wood to veterans and their families. Members also mail care packages to military personnel stationed overseas, Kraft saidThis year the post cheap ugg boots also adopted a National Guard unit, HHS 41st IBCT, and VFW members will make sure guard members and their families have everything they need for Christmasthose who deploy, come back or are still serving, we want them to know we understand what they are doing. We want to lend a helping hand, Kraft saidDonations help many vets, others
Many organizations take a breather after the holiday season, but not so the VFWare here to take care of military personnel and their families when they deploy, and when they return, Kraft saidFor more than 75 years, the VFW Buddy Poppy program has raised millions of dollars nationwide in support of veterans and their dependents. The poppies are assembled by disabled veterans, who are paid for th cheap ugg boots eir effortsLast year, the Oregon City based post raised more than $26,000 from poppy donations, and every penny of that money went back into the community, Kraft saidVFW Post 1324 supports more than 14 organizations with proceeds from donations, among them are the Voice of Democracy scholarship program for high school students, the Clackamas Community College Veterans Center, the Oregon Veterans Home and the Oregon City High School Junior ROTC programLocal VFW members also put together homeless kits for veterans who are living outdoors. These consist of sturdy duffel bags filled with new sleeping bags, tarps, socks, hygiene items, gloves and hats. The kits are delivered to other VFW posts, where many members know where to find and support homeless vets, Kraft saidMembers also work with public safety organizations, including local firefighters, police departments and paramedics in activities, like speaking on Pearl Harbor Day and Veterans Day and helping with flag retirement carealso visit retirement homes and hospices to support vets, and we make regular visits to the Portland VA Medical Center, Kraft saidNationally, the VFW is a active lobby for vets, he said, adding that the VFW is promoting legislation for the new GI Bill. It was dedicated in 1949been saving for years to do a remodel, and this year we are adding a commercial dishwasher to our kitchen. But we need the community to help with the renovation of the building, Kraft saidHe pointed out that the VFW mission is to help the community, and that the organization is to be an asset to Oregon City.