Veteran residents honored by Pickett Post 21
Lakeside Nursing Center veterans in Lake City were honored on Wednesday, Sept. 9, by representatives of American Legion Pickett Post 21 of Jonesboro.
Phil Clairday, commander, and John Reeves, adjutant, thanked the resident veterans for their service to the country and signed them as members of the American Legion.
Clairday called the veterans "Golden Members" and welcomed them into the American Legion, presenting them with an American Flag and a personal salute for their service.
Honored residents included Truman Smith, USAF; William Johnson, U.S. Navy; Murrey Nance, U.S. Army; Harold Mundt, U.S. Marines; Jimmie Luttrell, U.S. Army; James Thomas, U.S. Army; and Jerry Hunt, U.S. Army.
Among the new members were four World War II veterans and three Korean War veterans.
"We know we live in the best country in the world," Clairday said. "This is our way of honoring you for your service. If there is anything we can do for you, let us know. It is never an inconvenience."
Clairday told the men they would be visiting at least once a month. The new members will receive the American Legion magazine and newsletter.
"American Legion Department Commander Gene McVay at the 91st Convention held in July encouraged us as part of the membership drive to honor veterans in nursing homes," Clairday said. "We are glad to be part of this program and pleased to honor our veterans in area nursing homes."
Clairday said the Department and Post 21 waived their portion of the annual dues for the resident members.
"We have sponsors who are paying the dues for our nursing home members so it is not a hardship on them, $13.50 of the annual dues goes to National. Our goal is to strictly honor these veterans and let them know they are not forgotten," Clairday said.
Lakeside is the second nursing home Post 21 has signed-up resident American Legion members. They signed up eight members at Craighead Nursing Center. They have plans to continue honoring veterans with memberships in other area nursing homes.
Clairday said if any individual family member, church, or organization would like to sponsor a nursing home veteran's membership they can contact him at 870-919-7839 or Reeves at 901-831-3517.
Clairday and Reeves presented each resident with their membership cards. They talked about the different projects Post 21 sponsors and how they serve the community.
"We are proud to have you as members of the American Legion," Clairday said. "Thank you for doing your job."
Cathy Stout, Lakeside activity director, thanked the guests for honoring the veterans.