DAR REMEMBERS VETERANS AT CHRISTMAS, HONORS COMMUNITY SERVICE, AND FEATURES PATRIOT PAWS
The December meeting of the local NSDAR Jonathan Hardin Chapter was reflective of the volunteer spirit so prominent in the lives of DAR members. Guests included Kenda Eckols, Cindy Killgore, and Mr. Charles Buck. Mr. Buck, who served in the United States Air Force during the Vietnam War, was presented with an NSDAR Commemorative Vietnam War Certificate of Service and is the husband of member Glenda Buck.
It was a fruitful meeting with the chapter completing a yearly project, bestowing recognition on a local service organization, and learning about a program for disabled military veterans dear to the hearts of DAR members. Following the opening of the regular chapter business meeting at the Mexia Gibbs Memorial Library on Wednesday, December 6, by Regent Aleece McBay, oﬃcial chapter business included the presentation by Nominating Committee Chairman, Diana McDonald, of the nominated 2018-2020 slate of oﬃcers. New oﬃcers will be elected in February 2018 and installed the following May.
The NSDAR National Board of Management established the Community Service Award in April
1995 as an opportunity for chapters to recognize worthy individuals and organizations for outstanding unpaid voluntary achievements in cultural, education, humanitarian, patriotic, historical, citizenship, or environmental conservation endeavors. The organization must have contributed to the community in an outstanding manner through voluntary heroic, civic, benevolent service or by organizing or participating in community activities.
The Jonathan Hardin Chapter was privileged to present the Community Service Award to Kosse Cares Inc., Kosse, TX, for giving back to the local and in-state military each year by sending special care packages valued at $150-$200 each. As a 501c nonprofit organization, it also supports the Bremond and Marlin area military as well as those living outside the area whose family roots are based locally. Two deployed units overseas also received packages last year. Kosse, TX has a history of military service which began in WWII. This Limestone County town had the most volunteers per capita of any city in the United States to go to war. Funding began with bake sales and now comes from a 12-gun raﬄe, t-shirt sales, and donations.
Kenda Eckols, President of Kosse Cares, was presented with the award by Regent Aleece
The program was presented by Cindy Killgore, a trainer from Patriot Paws Service Dogs, Rockwall, TX, who was assisted by Tommy, a young black Labrador. This 501(c)(3) trains service dogs to perform various disability-specific tasks. The primary goal is to increase an individual’s self-suﬃciency through the assistance of a personalized service animal. Service animals are trained to get help in medical emergencies, recognize and avert PTSD episodes, pick up and retrieve items, open and close doors, pull wheelchairs, provide bracing to stand, walk, and sit down, help with chores such as laundry, and take oﬀ shoes and socks. Tommy demonstrated some of the 64 voice commands and corresponding hand signals he will have learned by the time his training is complete. Members enjoyed helping Tommy with his socialization skills and were very touched when Tommy with signaled by his trainer to pray with her for the soldier.
Following the program, guests were invited to join members for a pot-luck luncheon after which members assembled 65-70 gift bags for veterans in the nursing facilities located in Limestone and Freestone counties. Members delivered bags after the meeting. A special thank you to JoAnn Slauson for her devotion to this yearly project.
Any woman 18 years or older, regardless of race, religion, or ethnic background, who can prove lineal descent from an ancestor who aided in achieving American independence is eligible for membership. For more information about joining the NSDAR Jonathan Hardin Chapter, please contact Regent Aleece McBay, 254-729-5177 or Registrar Billie Bournias at 903-389-3592.