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Auxiliary honors living, deceased veterans

By By MERRILENE GARRETT
American Legion Auxiliary
We, the ladies of the American Legion Auxiliary Unit No. 90, would like to take this Memorial Day opportunity to salute all our living veterans who could and did attend the memorial services on May 28 here in Atmore.
Also, our hearts and love go out to the hospitalized veterans who are blind and deaf, who have lost their legs and arms, whose minds are no longer alert. They have not only suffered these disabilities in war but will continue to suffer them to their graves. They won't ever be able to enjoy the freedoms that they gave and are giving the rest of their lives for.
We, the ladies of the Auxiliary, don't just remember them for one day of the year. We are constantly striving to help them here at home, in VA hospitals in Gulfport and Biloxi, and in the state veterans home in Bay Minette.
While we do certainly honor our deceased war heroes who have already given their all for our freedom, we also honor the living.
One instance was in the Biloxi VA hospital recently. We were giving out fruit and other gifts to the veterans who weren't able to be up and about. We went into the room of a young man who looked to be in his early 20s. While I was talking to him, I realized his legs were gone above his knees. It was heart-breaking.
I can't understand why some people would just ignore and forget about these living heroes. They don't want to do anything for them. These are some of the people who are too busy to join our Auxiliary and learn about the many ways we can help them whether here at home, in nursing homes or in VA hospitals. They need us now. Won't you join us and help them?
I was watching a program about Pearl Harbor the other night and heard a survivor telling how horrible it was on Dec. 7, 1942 when one of our ships was sunk, and until the 23rd of December, they could hear knocking on the ship under water. The ship's crew was trying to get out but they were unable to help them and they died in this horrible way.
We must not forget our veterans. Let them know we love them and will never forget them, not just by word of mouth, but by actions. Our Auxiliary has 90 members, but only a few are active. Don't misunderstand. We desperately need your membership as it helps with veterans' benefits. We certainly do need your membership. By the way, we offer a lot of benefits with membership. I will have a list of them in the local paper soon.
I recently saw a documentary about Dauchau in Germany. It showed how terribly those people were tortured and killed because they were Jews. We could be in the same predicament if we hadn't had our veterans fighting for us, dying for us and some still dying little by little in severe heartache and pain for the freedom we enjoy every day.
Wake up, America. Let our veterans know we have not forgotten them.