All ‘Buddy’ Poppy sales applied to veterans’ causes

U.S. Air Force veteran Mel Pitzen, left, and U.S. Navy veteran Richard Kennelley, both of Marshalltown, take a break from Veterans of Foreign Wars Post #839 poppy sales Thursday outside the local Fareway grocery store. VFW members sold the poppies at select retail locations through Saturday.

Marshalltown and Marshall County residents hold traditions in high esteem.

From baptisms to homecoming parades to putting up Christmas trees.

And with a sizable population of combat and peacetime veterans, it is only fitting residents

dig into pockets, purses and wallets to support a time-honored tradition of making a free-will donation for the deep-red “Buddy” Poppy replicas.

And over many years, members of the American Legion Post Nol. 46 and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post No. 839 have stood out in front businesses regardless of weather collecting donations of which 100 percent are applied to veterans causes.

One year Iowa Veterans Home residents made 1,000 poppies distributed state-wide.

“We do a lot of good things with the Buddy Poppy donations,” U.S. Air Force veteran Mel Pitzen of Marshalltown said Thursday while waiting to relieve U.S. Navy veteran Richard Kennelley of Marshalltown in front of Marshalltown’s Fareway Grocery store.

Kennelley and Pitzen rattled off causes ranging from weekly television guides for nearly 500

IVH residents to the VFW’s National Home for Children to Christmas Meals for Disabled World War II veterans.

Other programs paid for from poppy sales are:

• Local Honor Guard Bus Fund

• Care Packages for Local Servicemen Overseas

• Puppy Jake Foundation (Service dogs for Veterans)

• Marshalltown VA Clinic Coffee Fund

• Freedom Flights

• DVDs and Books for IVH Library

• Christmas Gifts for IVH Residents

• Groceries for Veterans and Families in Need

• Emergency Travel Assistance to Stranded Veterans

For more information, contact the Marshalltown VFW at 641-753-9548.