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Normandy Invasion Veterans Planning To Visit Memorial

The members of American Legion Post 104 in Sylva were given an update at Monday’s meeting by Sylva Rotarian Lynn Lazar on the plans to take local Normandy Invasion veterans to Bedford, Virginia in June for the 60th anniversary of that event. The Rotary Clubs in western North Carolina were instrumental several years ago in raising the funds to send World War Two veterans to Washington to visit the World War Two Memorial in the National Mall.
Lazar will be working with Rotarians, veteran’s organizations, and civic clubs to locate Normandy Invasion veterans and send them, their spouse, and a caregiver to this special celebration. Five or six eligible veterans from Jackson County are expected to join about 40 other veterans from western North Carolina who have expressed an interest in participating in “Operation Overlord 2014” A couple of the local veterans told their story on the video being used to market the occasion. The number of veterans at the observance this year is expected to be in the thousands.
A weekend celebration of daily events at the National D-Day Memorial in Bedford, Va., will span June 6-8, and include laying of wreaths by various D-Day units, a USO show, historians, veterans’ oral history stations and a parade. The weekend will culminate with a field chapel service on Sunday June 8th.
For the purposes of the “Operation Overlord 2014” project, a Normandy Invasion Campaign veteran is any American veteran able to describe his or her participation in “Operation Overlord” from June 6, 1944, to Aug. 31, 1944 — or has documented evidence of receiving an official Normandy Battle Campaign credit.

95th Anniversary for American Legion

American LegionThe American Legion will observe its 95th anniversary March 15-17, and Legionnaires of Jackson and Swain counties are planning a celebration at their regular Monday, March 10, meeting at the William E. Dillard Post 104 in Sylva. Local festivities will take place along with those at more than 16,000 American Legion posts located across the United States and other parts of the World, whose members are proud to be “Veterans Still Serving America.” The nation’s largest veterans service organization, The American Legion successfully promoted the creation of the GI Bill of Rights at the end of World War II, used over the years by millions of veterans for education, technical training, and assistance in becoming homeowners. The American Legion continues to be a strong advocate and friend for all veterans, their spouses and children, and their fellow citizens, sponsoring an array of programs nationwide. Post 104 extends an invitation to all eligible veterans in Jackson and Swain counties to join.

Local Veterans Organizations Look to Honor National Guard Unit Before Deployment

 Local veterans organizations are being called upon to assist with preparations for an honorable send-off for the soldiers who are members of the 210 MP Unit of the North Carolina National Guard. The Sylva Rotary Club is coordinating several activities of the Veterans Council which will be calling upon veterans organizations, interested organizations, civic groups, and volunteers who would be available to offer assistance to the families from emergency repairs to respite. As the time of the deployment gets closer the list of needs will grow and local individuals will be called upon to help out. Currently 184 veterans each day are entering the Veterans Administration health system as they continue with the wounds of war, most suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder due to the multiple deployments into war zones. The 210 will provide security for American Forces departing Afghanistan.