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How Forget-Me-Nots support Pahrump’s disabled veterans

The Disabled American Veterans Chapter #15 of Pahrump hosted its semi-annual Forget-Me-Not fundraiser this past weekend, setting up in front of local stores to collect donations and distribute information about the nonprofit’s mission and purpose.

On Sunday, May 8, DAV members David Feltenberger and Buddy Tisdale were manning the booth at the northern entrance to Albertsons. Enthusiastically attracting the attention of passing shoppers, the duo were handing out the familiar blue flowers that have become a symbol of commemoration for those who gave their lives in service to their country and explaining the impact that the DAV has, both locally and nationally.

“The first time DAV members offered the little blue Forget-Me-Nots to the public was on Feb. 24, 1926, to raise funds to support DAV services and to provide assistance desperately needed by injured and ill veterans from World War I,” literature provided by the two detailed.

“The idea behind the Forget-Me-Not flower grew out of an image carried home from the First World War in the memories of soldiers who had seen spring flowers growing among the graves of comrades and allies killed in the fighting,” the literature continued. “The scene, with its promise of new life following the sacrifices of so many, was immortalized in the poem ‘In Flanders Fields’ by Canadian Lt. Col. John McCrae, thus capturing the hearts of people yearning for peace.”

Nearly 100 years after the first public initiative, the Forget-Me-Not fundraisers have become a staple of DAV chapter-level activities, and as Feltenberger and Tisdale both emphasized, “All of the money raised in Pahrump by this effort stays in Pahrump, so the DAV can use it to help our local veterans.”

In addition to holding a variety of annual events to celebrate and recognize veterans, DAV Chapter #15 offers two main assistance programs for former military members living in the area, including help with filing VA claims and a free transportation service to the VA hospital in North Las Vegas. Anyone interested in receiving aid with filing a VA claim is encouraged to call 775-537-5146 to learn more. To schedule transportation to the VA facility over the hill, call 702-791-9000, extension 9069.

DAV Chapter #15 meets at 5:30 p.m. the third Thursday of each month at 270 N. Highway 160, in the Town Annex building near the community pool. Any person who was honorably discharged after serving in the U.S. armed forces during a period of war or under conditions simulating war and who was wounded or disabled as a result is eligible to join the group. The DAV also offers an auxiliary unit for family members of any veteran who was not dishonorably discharged, or anyone injured and still in active military service.

For more on DAV Chapter #15 visit www.DAV15nv.org or call 775-537-5051.

Contact reporter Robin Hebrock at rhebrock@pvtimes.com

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