Area veterans enjoy a day of fun

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Sharon Schuler Kreps

Photo shows members of Fallen Heroes Bowfishing.
 
This is the first Appreciation Day we have ever done together. There has been too much separation between the American Legion and the VFW in the past; we are both here for the same reason.”
Dan Raley

 

CULLMAN – Local veterans and their families came together at the VFW today for Veteran’s Appreciation Day, a day filled with free food and drinks, a bounce house for the children and many other fun, family-oriented activities.

“Today we are having a Veteran’s Appreciation Day where the American Legion and the VFW are working together for our veterans of Cullman County,” said Dan Raley, commander of Cullman’s American Legion Post 4. “It’s a day of enjoyment. There was no cost for the event and everyone enjoyed free food.

Raley laughed, “We had a watermelon eating contest and a hot dog eating contest where we (the American Legion) competed against the VFW. The VFW kicked our butts this time, but we are going to get them next time.

“This is the first Appreciation Day we have ever done together. There has been too much separation between the American Legion and the VFW in the past; we are both here for the same reason,” he smiled.

The event had lots of things for the children to participate in. Many of them lined up in order to throw a ball at the dunking booth. There was also a cotton candy machine, which was a crowd favorite as well.

In the spirit of celebrating and honoring the veterans of Cullman County, there was a new nonprofit organization at the event. It is called Fallen Heroes Bowfishing and is made up of a family of combat veterans who want to give back to our fallen heroes.

“My wife Candace and I are members of the VFW post but we also run a separate nonprofit organization where we take veterans out bowfishing,” said Warren Reppond. “That’s why we have the boat set up here today. We take disabled veterans out on bowfishing trips; it’s our way of giving back to the veterans, getting everyone together and having a good time. We want to try and keep the veteran community happy.”

The Fallen Heroes Bowfishing boat is completely handicapped-accessible and was on display at Saturday’s event. While the Repponds were they, they met a veteran who has a service dog and is confined to a wheelchair. He will be the night’s special guest and plans were made to take him out on the water for a night of bowfishing!

“Aside from bowfishing, we reach out to other organizations that support our wounded and lost heroes from the military, police and fire services,” said Reppond. “We provide awareness and support to these organizations through fundraising, tournaments, hopefully some tournament winnings and the support of other outdoorsmen and women.” 

The Veteran’s Appreciation Day was a huge success and lots of veterans brought their families along with them for the fun. It was an interesting day, especially learning about the new bowfishing organization in town. It’s just one more way to offer something a little different to our American heroes.

For more information about Fallen Heroes Bowfishing, call 256-735-4439 or visit them online at www.fallenheroesbowfishing.com or www.facebook.com/FallenHeroesBowfishing/.

Find out more about Cullman's VFW Post 2214 at https://www.facebook.com/cullmanVFWPost.

For more about Cullman's American Legion Post 4, see http://qrne.ws/americanlegion.