This note is in response to the letter to the editor regarding the VFW’s Buddy Poppy Program on Veterans Day. I am commander of VFW Post 318 in Olympia, and cannot speak to other veterans organizations mentioned in the article, nor store locations in Lacey or Tumwater. Our post does distribute buddy poppies, before, during, and after Veterans Day and Memorial Day in multiple locations in Olympia.
We accept donations – buddy poppies are not sold. The money goes exclusively to assist veterans in need. I can assure you that we were active, but were hampered this year by several new developments.
The downtown post office no longer allows non-profit organizations to set up outside its doors. However, we are allowed to set up outside the west side post office. Our buddy poppy chairman is in his 80s and his wife has been hospitalized, affecting coordination efforts.
Our color guard was extremely busy with up to three requests per day for posting of colors and memorials. Our auxiliary, which consists of the spouses of those who served, some very elderly or frail, were facing challenges with weather conditions.
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Please contact our post around Memorial Day or Veterans Day, and we will provide you with information on locations and times we will be distributing buddy poppies. Thank you for your support.