American Legion Auxiliary shares spirit of Christmas with veterans

Published 12:05 am Friday, December 19, 2008

Members of American Legion Auxiliary Unit 70 of Troy joined other units of American Legion District 35 in playing Santa Claus to veterans at the Tuskegee Veterans Hospital and Nursing Home this week.

The local unit also visited other facilities that care for veterans with gifts for those who have served their county with pride and honor.

“American Legion Auxiliary Unit 70 has been visiting the veterans’ hospital in Tuskegee at Christmastime for many years,” said Faye Pittman, unit president. “Each year, we deliver gift baskets to the veterans there. This year, District 35 took gift baskets to 287 veterans at the hospital and nursing home in Tuskegee.”

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Pittman said the gift baskets include baseball caps that are donated from local businesses and organizations.

“The veterans look forward to the baseball caps more than anything,” she said. “They are like children at Christmas. This year members of the Pike County JROTC went with us, and the veterans really enjoyed having the young people there and I think the cadets gained a greater appreciation of our veterans after visiting with them.”

The members of American Legion Auxiliary Unit 70 visited with the veterans at Troy Health and Rehabilitation Center and Noble Manor and gave them gift baskets as well.

“We also visited the 14 veterans at the Troy Veterans Home and took baskets to the local hospice organizations to be delivered to veterans in their care,” Pittman said.

Unit 70 members look forward to the opportunity to visit with area veterans during the Christmas season.

Pittman said it is the least they can do in return for their service to country.

“We don’t want our veterans to ever feel like they are forgotten or not appreciated,” she said. “We owe so much to them. The gift baskets are just a small to say thank you for what you did for us.”

Katie Hale, Unit 70 member, said the auxiliary has requests throughout the year from men and women of the military.

“We have active during military from Pike County and, if we have their names and addresses, we will sent them packages from time to time,” Hale said. “We have a list of things they have said they would like to have – things like movies and reading material. The men especially like car and muscle magazines and, of course, the women want magazines of special interest to them, like ‘People’ magazine.”

Hale said magazines and DVDs are rather expensive to buy and asked for donations of those items to the American Legion Auxiliary Unit 70 to be mailed to the men and women in uniform.

“They don’t have to be current magazines or new movies,” she said. “The troops will appreciate whatever we send.”

For more information on how to support Pike County veterans and active duty troops, call 566-8849.