Honoring vets of all sorts, old and new

Published 10:29 am Thursday, May 28, 2020

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By Leonard Rizzo

Special cases


Each year at the crack of dawn, I make my way to Memorial Park in Columbus. This year, the day to honor our vets fell on a Monday and I am on a dialysis machine by 6:30 a.m. I decided to make my yearly visit on Sunday before mass.

It was a beautiful clear and quiet morning and, as usual, when I arrive early enough, I was all alone.

This personal time with fellow comrades is very precious to me. I removed my cane from the car and as I stroll along, I sense their guardian angels all about me. I occasionally stop at a memorial, read the name and offer a prayer, “Rest in peace.” I leave with a quiet serenity in my heart and thank them for their sacrifice.

During the year I support the V.F.W. the homeless vets and the program that places dogs with soldiers who have PTSD. I also pay tribute to fallen canines who also sacrificed all for the good of mankind.

Last week, I talked about visiting the Foothills Humane Society and spending time with their six new Lab-Aussie Shepherd pups. Since my funds have fallen off a bit (which is understandable), I decided to renew my pledge of $1,000 a year to the animals. Half was presented last week to FHS and I’ve been thinking of how to donate the other $500.

Then it dawned on me, “Why not give to veterans of a different sort.” There is a very special lady who runs a rescue titled Forever Dream Sanctuary. Her name is Verna Wilkins. She rescues, cares for and finds new homes for senior dogs when she can. I recently learned that she’s had teeth work done on six or seven of her wards, pet owners will know that this isn’t cheap. I have assisted Verna in the past as often as I can, I love this special lady and her special group of pups.

Last week, I explained how thrilled I was to sit amongst the puppies and have them crawl over me. A visit to Verna’s to mingle with all the old timers reliving their youth thrills me even more.

Verna has just left my home with a $500 check for a different group of veterans who in their own way have devoted their lives to us humans.

To all our veterans of all sorts who are still with us, God bless you all and thank you for your service.

Thanks for listening.