Cumberland Times-News

November 20, 2012

Shame on the person who stole Buddy Poppies from a veteran

To the Editor:
Cumberland Times-News

— On Nov. 10, my father, Leroy Bland, was at the Denny’s in Keyser handing out Buddy Poppies for the VFW. He is a Korean War veteran, member of Queen’s Point Memorial Post 6775 in McCoole and the quartermaster for District 3 in Maryland.

He is so very proud to be a veteran and serve the VFW and the community. Dad takes poppies everywhere he goes at this time of year.

He fills his coat pockets with the poppies and leaves the rest in his vehicle to “refill.” While he was inside Denny’s, someone took the poppies from his vehicle. I think it is deplorable that someone would take these.

To the person who did this:

Do you know what the Buddy Poppies stand for? Do you know what the donations are used for? Let me enlighten you.

• The VFW gives out the poppies “To Honor the Dead by Helping the Living.”

• When a veteran hands you a poppy it is more than just a little flower on a piece of wire.

• For a man or woman injured in the war; it is rehabilitation, assistance with a prosthetic limb, therapy.

• For the man or woman needing medical care it’s a hospital, doctor, nurse and medical staff taking care of them.

• For the man or woman who can no longer live alone and without assistance it is a home.

• For the family of a man or woman injured or killed serving it is assistance with bills, food, housing.

• For the child who has lost a parent, it is a home to live.

• For the hero who is being laid to rest; it is comrades paying their respects with a service that honors their sacrifice.

I hope you are proud of yourself for taking those tiny flowers. Perhaps you saw some were offering my father a donation to the VFW, and thought you could play “veteran” and get some money. It really doesn’t matter the reason — it was wrong, disrespectful and selfish.

Brenda Bland

Keyser, W.Va.