Poppies Make Valentine’s Day Brighter for Veterans

By Brenda Erdahl

Five Maple Lake ladies have made Valentine’s Day a little brighter for the 300 plus veterans at the St. Cloud VA Medical Center this year. Bright red poppies adorn valentines made by the former VFW Auxiliary members to be distributed to the veterans as tray favors on Wednesday, Feb. 14.

The ladies, who include Jane Decker, Deb Geyen, Jenny Polsfuss, Pat Stoppelman, and Jean Fobbe, got together Thursday, Feb. 8, for lunch at the V by HH and then spent the afternoon making the valentines. They hoped to put together 380 of the festive cards by the end of the day to ensure that all the veterans got one. The women chose to decorate the cards with poppies because the Buddy Poppy is the official memorial flower of the VFW; it was adopted as such back in August of 1922, Decker said. “The Buddy Poppy Program has helped the VFW live up to its motto ‘to honor the dead by helping the living.’ The small red flower is symbolic of the blood shed by millions of military in defense of our freedom,” she said.

Every spring Buddy Poppies are distributed throughout communities and 100 percent of the donations go toward the aid, assistance, relief, and comfort of needy or disabled veterans or members of the armed forces, their dependents, and the widows and orphans of deceased veterans. Also decorating the Valentine was this poem: “Here is a little poppy, as red as it can be, to show that I remember those who fought for me.” The Valentines were delivered to the veterans at the VA on Friday, Feb. 9. The activity was sponsored by the Maple Lake VFW.

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