DURAND VFW Commander Joe Cooney (second from right) and Quartermaster Leo Krupp (on right) accepted a check in the amount of $2,000 from Great Lakes Fusion on Wednesday, Aug. 30 at Greenwood Cemetery in Vernon. Presenting the check was (from left) Great Lakes Fusion CFO Joe Libby, COO Brian Jones and owner Bryan Marks.

   The Durand VFW will use the funds to purchase grave flag markers for the four cemeteries the organization cares for, the Lovejoy, Yerian, Chalker and Greenwood cemeteries. Every year, VFW members place flags at the grave of every veteran in the four aforementioned cemeteries  and the markers will make that job easier. Additionally, a friend of the Durand VFW has been working for approximately three years to identify, locate and document the grave of every veteran buried in the four cemeteries. This will ensure no veteran is missed when flags are put out. So far, more than 700 veterans’ graves have been catalogued in Greenwood Cemetery alone.

   The Durand VFW estimates it will need at least 1,000 flag holders to accomplish its mission of marking every veteran grave in its four cemeteries and they plan to purchase extra markers to have on hand for future veteran burials. The markers are priced at $12 per unit when purchased in bulk, so the VFW is hoping to raise $14,400 to cover the cost of all 1,200 markers.

   Durand VFW member Mel Reitzel addressed the Vernon Township Board of Trustees recently regarding the flag holders and Marks happened to be in the room. Once Marks heard about the Durand VFW’s fundraising campaign, he jumped at the chance to help.

   “I was at a [Vernon] township meeting and Mel was there asking for the township’s support of the fundraiser for these grave markers,” explained Marks. “I just, I feel it’s my moral duty to honor our veterans, and when he said they were going to do a donation drive to try and raise money, I wanted to offer a donation. We’ve done very well in the community, and we appreciate everything this community has done for us, and this is one way we can give back. We just want to honor the sacrifice that all of our military men and women have given to our country for our freedoms. I think it’s important to honor that.”

   To make a donation, cash or checks can be dropped off at Durand VFW Post 2272, located at 923 N. Saginaw St. in Durand. VFW members will also be set up at Durand’s Veterans Memorial Park, which is located at the intersection of Oakland and N. Saginaw streets, during the End of Summer Cruisin’ car show this Saturday, Sept. 2.

(Independent Photo/Graham Sturgeon)

Generous Donation was last modified: September 5th, 2023 by Karen Elford