• 55°

Acts of Gratitude: Local community honors veterans in variety of ways

Veterans Day, a day set aside to honor the men and women who have served in the nation’s armed forces, is Monday, and some area veterans say any act of gratitude is a sufficient way to honor veterans on their special day.

“If you know any veterans, just go up to them and thank them,” said Robert Bradford of Natchez, who served in the Army Reserves for 25 years. “If you see a veteran out in the local areas, stores, just go ahead and thank them for their service.”

All veterans share a common bond of personal sacrifice in service to the nation to help defend the freedoms Americans enjoy, Bradford said.

“If you have family members who are veterans, just call them and thank them for all that they have done,” Bradford said. “Just show them love and support, and it does not need to be on a large scale.”

In Natchez, the Seeds of Change Resource Foundation will sponsor a continental breakfast honoring veterans from 9 to 11 a.m. Monday at the VFW located at 370 Sgt. Prentiss Drive, and all veterans are welcome to attend, organizers said.

John Floyd, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 9573 commander, who served in the Mississippi National Guard for 28 years, said it is important to remember veterans not only on Veterans Day.

“It is always important to keep us in mind, and not forget what we have done,” Floyd said.

Many Miss-Lou veterans need help throughout the year, Floyd said, and many options are available for people to help those veterans.

“I drive a Veterans Affairs van from the clinic here in Natchez (to the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Jackson),” Floyd said.

The shuttle service takes veterans to the center on Tuesdays and Thursdays and depends on volunteers to drive. Floyd said he is currently one of only three volunteers who make the drives between 7 a.m. and 4 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

“It has been going on for a long time, but some of the charter drivers have gotten old,” Floyd said, adding that if the group could get 10 volunteers they could each volunteer one day per month.

Floyd said anyone who would like to volunteer could call him at 601-392-6700.

G. Mark LaFrancis, president of Home With Heroes, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that helps veterans in the Miss-Lou, said veterans are as proud as they have ever been.

“By proud I don’t mean a sense of self-gratifying pride, but a pride in the sense that they served the country and that there are volunteer veterans following them that will serve the country with an equal fervor and patriotism,” LaFrancis said. “Veterans also are significantly concerned that their benefits be sustained. They worry that in tight budget times or in deficits that any administration, regardless of party, may look at what they receive as an option rather than a right.”

That’s where organizations such as the VFW, American Legion and Home With Heroes come in, said LaFrancis, who served in the U.S. Air Force for 23 years.

“(Those organizations) try to keep veterans concerns in the forefront of our national leaders, because to a man and woman, veterans know that without a strong defense force our freedoms could be eroded or even challenged,” LaFrancis said.

In his work with Home With Heroes, LaFrancis said he sees many veterans who need different forms of help.

“Well behind the scenes of our area are many veterans in need,” LaFrancis said. “They may not necessarily be homeless, but they are home challenged in that they may have difficulty maintaining their homes both physically and financially.”

LaFrancis said Home With Heroes depends on donations of money and adult clothing from the community to help meet the needs of veterans.

Many of the area’s veterans are older and have financial difficulties or difficulty obtaining their benefits, LaFrancis said, and Home With Heroes helps them with those issues.

Residents can help by donating to Wreaths Across America, a program that places holiday wreaths on the graves of veterans in national cemeteries, LaFrancis said.

“To sponsor a wreath, they can go on our website — homewithheroes.org,” LaFrancis said. “Or, they can call me at 601-442-0980.”

Or, people can stop by to make a donation of money or clothing at Home With Heroes on Thursdays and Fridays from 9 a.m. until noon at the VFW post at 370 Seargent S. Prentiss Drive, Natchez.

 

News

Vidalia missing teen found after extensive search

News

Law enforcement agencies continue search for missing 17-year-old

News

Natchez hires help in procuring disaster relief funds due to winter storm damage

News

Officials OK signs for high school sports championship row

DEVELOPING NEWS

Adams County Water Association lifts boil water notice

COVID-19

Teachers, first responders to be eligible for vaccine Monday

News

Mississippi House votes to overhaul several state taxes

News

Three men arrested in connection with 2018 double homicide

News

Natchez Water Works lifts boil water advisory

News

Ferriday man arrested for alleged assault on power line workers

News

Health care workers excited to open Trinity Medical Center

Business

Businesses impacted by severe winter weather

News

Utility companies still working to restore power, water to Miss-Lou residents

News

Damaged sewage line leaks raw sewage into St. Catherine’s Creek

News

Miss-Lou still assessing damage caused by severe winter storm

News

Schools reopening after winter storm

Church News

St. Mary Basilica damaged in storm, but nothing that cannot be repaired

News

Devin Heath named new Visit Natchez Executive Director

News

No in-person classes for Natchez or Concordia Parish on Monday; ACCS and Cathedral will hold classes

News

Mayor: Natchez water situation greatly improved

News

Thousands still without power in Adams County

News

Natchez Brewing Company gives fresh water to Natchez residents

News

City of Natchez needs help finding leaks during water crisis

News

Photo gallery: Sparkling crepe myrtles add beauty to downtown Natchez scene