Post 70 Auxiliary plans Santa for vets

Published 6:00 pm Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The American Legion Auxiliary Post 70 in Troy was among five units from the area that visited the Veterans Administration Hospital in Tuskegee Saturday to deliver gift baskets to the patients there.

And God works in wondrous and mysterious ways.

Faye Pittman, Auxiliary secretary, said the JROTC units from Pike County were involved in other events and unable to make the trip.

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“We were a little bit worried as to how a bunch of women could distribute the gifts to 210 patients,” Pittman said. “But the JROTC from Fort Walton Beach was in Montgomery performing for veterans there and they came over to Tuskegee to share in and help with the Christmas party for the veterans. There were 75 of them and they did a great job.”

The gift bags included personal items – socks, shaving cream, body wash, and toothbrushes and pastes and fruit and Christmas cards. However, the most prized items in the gift baskets are the baseball caps.

“The veterans are like kids when they see the caps. If they didn’t get anything but a cap, that would be enough,” Pittman said. “The caps are donated by businesses, churches, schools, organizations and individuals and we really appreciate their support. We couldn’t do it without them.”

Pittman said Charles Henderson High School and Pike Liberal Arts School collected items for the gift baskets.

“The art class at PLAS also made bookmarks and ornaments for the patients,” she said.

For more than 20 years, American Legion Auxiliary Post 70 has participated in the annual Christmas party for the patients at the VA Hospital in Tuskegee.

“It’s something that we work on all year long,” Pittman said. “It’s important to our state organization and that is evident by the fact that the state president was there Saturday. And, it just does all of us good to be able to do something that brings a smile to the faces of our veterans. But most of all, it’s important to the veterans. It makes the season more special for all of them. Some of the patients don’t have family around and nobody ever visits them. And, that’s so sad.

“The Auxiliary also delivers Christmas gift baskets to our veterans in local nursing home and hospitals and also those in Hospice care. Our veterans put their lives on the line for us. I don’t think that we ever do enough for our them.”

The Post 70 Auxiliary does more for the veterans than deliver gift baskets at Christmastime.

The Auxiliary participates in all veterans’ program at Bicentennial Park and hosts a monthly breakfast for veterans at the Post home on East Walnut Street.

The Auxiliary also sponsors the flag and memorial wall projects at Bicentennial Park.

“We sell poppies on Memorial Day is support of disabled veterans,” Pittman said. “And, we provide scholarships for the children of veterans. We are so appreciative of the service of our veterans and we want to support them in every way possible.”