Unit 70 visiting veterans

Published 4:00 am Thursday, December 3, 2015

The American Legion Ladies Auxiliary Unit 70 takes the time each year during the holidays to visit veterans at the Central Alabama Veterans Health Care System East Campus in Tuskegee.

The Ladies unit, along with the Pike County High School JROTC, visits the veterans hospital to provide some Christmas joy throughout the wards.

“This is something we have done for a lot of years before I ever even joined the unit,” said Katie Hale, president of the American Legion Auxiliary Unit 70. “It is a way to respect our veterans and honor them.”

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Hale said that the group brings gift bags and presents with them to the veterans.

“Some of these veterans are homeless, and some of them are not homeless, but they don’t have a family that can come and visit them,” Hale said. “This is our way of giving a little Christmas cheer and spirit to them.”

This year, the unit is bringing along a special surprise for the veterans. The PCHS choral group will also be joining the visit and will sing Christmas carols throughout the hospital.

“The students get to sit down and talk with the veterans,” Hale said. “These veterans love it when they see the students come in. (The JROTC students) go in uniform, and the veterans enjoy that.”

Hale said that the students are impacted as much as the veterans.

“We have seen the students come out of the hospital crying after talking with the veterans, and next year they beg to come back with us,” she said. “We also get a lot out of seeing the young people interact with the veterans.”

Hale said that visiting with veterans is important year-round, not just during the holidays.

She said she recommends visiting a veterans hospital throughout the year.

“Don’t wait for Christmas or any other time,” Hale said.

“Go and visit these veterans. These men and women put their lives in the front for our freedom and if anything, we can give them a visit.”

The American Legion Ladies Auxiliary Unit 70, along with the PCHS JROTC and choral group, will be traveling to Tuskegee to visit the veterans Saturday morning.