A Holiday Message from Secretary Thompson, The Season of Service to Others
CHARLESTON, W.Va. – In the spirit of the holidays and the season of serving others, I encourage all West Virginians to remember our veterans this year. None have given more than our men and women in uniform and many continue to live lives of service long after their uniforms have been retired.
This year at the West Virginia Veterans Home (WVVH) in Barboursville residents celebrated their fourth annual Christmas Wish for Kids event. Each year this initiative – started by WVVH resident Rex King – provides Christmas gifts to a different local family in need. This particular program serves as a true representation of what the holidays are all about, reminding each of us that even those who have very little can give back to others.
Other veterans inspire the spirit of giving by volunteering for a local veterans’ service organization. This time of year, it is common to see a veteran sitting in the cold outside your local shopping center, collecting money for his or her less fortunate fellow service members. These volunteers should be acknowledged as the heroes they are. Likewise, every man, woman and child who drops a penny in the donation bucket deserves a sincere thanks for supporting those who have long supported us.
Still others give back to veterans by hosting dinners for our military families or donating clothing, canned goods and other necessities to the WVVH and/or other organizations that serve our state’s veterans.
With so many ways to express our appreciation of veterans during the holidays, there must be an option that is right for you and your family. At the very least, I hope you will remember our veterans who have had to spend holidays apart from their loved ones as they defended our country, as well as the numerous active military members who will spend this season doing just that. Please keep these individuals and their families in your thoughts and prayers this holiday season. On behalf of West Virginia’s veteran community, I wish you all the happiest of holidays.
Heather Ransom, 304-558-3661