LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Cullman VFW Post 2214 collects donations through Buddy Poppy program

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Tiffany Johnson, right, with veterans at the Buddy Poppy table Saturday, Aug. 27, 2022 (Amy Leonard for The Cullman Tribune)

Iraq veteran and commander of Cullman VFW Post 2214, Brian Monk, and wife, Rachel Monk, president of the VFW Auxiliary, pick different dates and locations every year to collect Buddy Poppy donations for the VFW. The money raised goes back to helping veterans in need. 

We set up at Warehouse Discount Grocery on Highway 157 and Belk in the Cullman Shopping Center this past weekend. We handed out small, handheld flags along with a Buddy Poppy to go with them. Included was information on the history of the Buddy Poppy. 

The Buddy Poppy has a very interesting history that dates all the way back to Flanders Field in WWI. It symbolizes a vivid red flower that has become very special toward veterans and people who have a veteran in their families. Disabled American Veterans made the Buddy Poppy that is handed out for remembrance of their buddies who never made it back; they started calling them “Buddy Poppy” and the name stuck in 1923. 

Local VFW member and Grenada veteran, Mr. Dan Raley, brought candy, beads, and went out and bought small Army men toys for some of the children there. 

Vietnam veteran Mr. Van Hutchins and Iraq and Afghanistan veteran Clyde Johnson (my dad), set up the table with the help of me. A bit into us three being there, Mr. Dan showed up with Miss Barb who also showed up to help out. Then came along Iraq veteran Mr. Fred Throne, with all of us we all pitched in, helping, greeting others who walked in and out of the place. 

Vietnam veteran Mr. Ken Brown was set up at Belk. 

For more information on VFW Post 2214 and how you can support local veterans, please visit www.facebook.com/cullmanVFWPost.  

Tiffany Johnson