Thanks in large part to members of the Rhine VFW Post 2729 and its Auxiliary, veterans play a key role in Clearing and Garfield Ridge. --File photo

Thanks in large part to members of the Rhine VFW Post 2729 and its Auxiliary, veterans play a key role in Clearing and Garfield Ridge. --File photo

Plenty of ways to thank our veterans

By Joan Hadac

Your correspondent in Clearing and Garfield Ridge

(708) 496-0265 • [email protected]

And at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, peace was declared.

The armistice that signaled the end of World War I, some 103 years ago, certainly was a cause for celebration.

In the decades since, Armistice Day evolved into what we today know as Veterans Day—a time to thank and honor all living military veterans.

Many if not most of us have living family members who served. One of my sisters is a Navy veteran. My sister-in-law’s husband is an Army veteran who served in Vietnam. I’m sure you can say similar things, or perhaps you yourself are a veteran.

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Thanks in large part to members of the Rhine VFW Post 2729 and its Auxiliary, veterans play a key role in Clearing and Garfield Ridge. –File photo

With that in mind, I want to encourage all who can to attend Veterans Day observances tomorrow—Thursday, Nov. 11.

One is set for 11 a.m. at the Rhine VFW Post 2729, 5858 S. Archer. The ceremony will be brief, and refreshments will be served immediately after, courtesy of the post’s Auxiliary.

At 2 p.m. Rhine Post members will join the Garfield Ridge Chamber of Commerce at the triangle at 55th, Archer and Narragansett to rededicate the refurbished plot of land.

A number of new, decorative bricks have been added to the triangle’s walkway. Most bricks carry the name of a person who served in the military. They were purchased mostly by Clearing and Garfield Ridge residents, through the GRCC. Installation costs were donated by Geno Randazzo of All Exterior Contractors.

Beyond Veterans Day, what can we do to honor our nation’s veterans?

Check out the end of this column, where I have posted 99 ideas on how to honor a veteran.

  • Speaking of the Rhine Post, their regular Thursday bingo games will not be held on Nov. 11 or on the 25th (Thanksgiving). But head over there Thursday, Nov. 18 and get in on the fun. Doors open at 4:30 p.m., and the games start at 6:45. Bingo typically end between 9:30 and 10 p.m.

But these games don’t run themselves. New volunteers are always welcome to help out. If you want inquire about volunteering, please call the Post at 773-284-9025. My thanks to Commander Charlie Johnson and Auxiliary President Laura Hogan, as well as all other officers and members for all the good you do for the community.

  • You may recall back in August, the Clear-Ridge Reporter & NewsHound reported on Beat the Streets Chicago, a non-profit headquartered at 5985 S. Archer that aims to change kids’ lives for the better by introducing them to the sport of wrestling. If you don’t recall it, it’s posted at southwestregionalpublishing.com.

Anyway, Beat the Street’s winter session started yesterday, but there’s still time to enroll your youngster. There are all different age groups starting with boys and girls as young as age 5. For full details, visit btschicago.org.

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Joan Hadac

  • Today’s edition of the Clear-Ridge Reporter & NewsHound is dated Wednesday, Nov. 10, but I know many people receive their copy the day before that.

Therefore, I want to let you know about the next Bunco session of the St. Jane Ladies Guild of St. Faustina. It is set for 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 9 in the school building, 5201 S. McVicker.

No previous bunco experience is necessary, and all are welcome to play. Cost to play is only $10, and cash prizes are awarded. Soft drinks, water and prepackaged snacks will be available.

All current mask mandates will be followed, regardless of vaccination status. Parking is available along the east side of the building or on 52nd Street and you may enter through either the front or side door. If you have questions, call Andi at (773) 610-5686.

  • If you’ve read my holiday opinions in years past, you know I enjoy Halloween and cherish Christmas; but I dislike how our modern world so often seems to skip Thanksgiving—which in some ways is my favorite holiday because it’s so family-focused.

So with a bit of tongue-in cheek reluctance, I’ll ask you to mark your calendars for Saturday, Dec. 4 (a Christmas tree lighting at Wentworth Park); and on Saturday, Dec. 11 (GRCC annual Snack With Santa in the morning and the Garfield Ridge Neighborhood Watch’s annual “Santa on a firetruck” through the streets on central and western Garfield Ridge); Sunday, Dec. 12 (the GRNW’s “Santa on firetruck” through the streets of Central and western Clearing). More details in the weeks ahead,

  • Finally, if you have news you’d like to see in the Dec. 1 edition of the Clear-Ridge Reporter & NewsHound, you’ll have to get it to me by 5 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 23. (We’re losing a day of newspaper production due to Thanksgiving.)

See you next week.

99 Ways to Honor Veterans

1. Leave a message of support for our military and families at http:/facebook.com/MilitaryAvenue

2. Take a Veteran out to eat; whether it is a fast-food chain or a fine-dining establishment. Tell them why you are bringing them out to eat.

3. Are you a knitter or crocheter? Make a scarf for the cold-winters ahead. Donate them at a local-VFW for a veteran in need or contact Operation Gratitude at WWW.OPGRATITUDE.COM/HOWTOHELP to see how to donate.

4. Listen to their stories with interest. If they are a war-veteran they have seen things you will never see. Listen and Learn.

5. Call and Visit a local nursing home or VA Hospital. Find out what you can do to help. If you quilt make a blanket for a needy veteran. If you bake call and find out if you can bring in something special. Bring a book to read to a veteran “ready and willing” to listen. We all have talents that can be used.

6. Send an ‘E-Card’ through the American Legion to the Veterans in your life that use email.

7. Support a Military Family through Operation Homefront. Watch their website for ‘current needs’: http://www.operationhomefront.net/currentneeds.aspx

8. Military-member at the same restaurant as you? Send them a drink or pay for their dessert.

9. Is there a disabled veteran in your neighborhood? Help with the raking of his leaves or shoveling her driveway.

10. Do you have a website? Make a page dedicated to our military. Need some help finding content for it?: For your site

11. Do you bake? Make an Apple Pie or another specialty and bring it over to a neighbor-veteran. Don’t forget to grab a box of ice cream to take. Now I’m hungry!

12. Own a business? Hang a sign and invite all veterans in for something free. A cup of coffee, a flower, a massage. Something you can give from your inventory to show your gratitude.

13. Do you quilt? Make a blanket for a retiring service-member. It will be a keepsake they treasure.

14. Employers: Host a special luncheon for all of your veterans. Recognize their service to your company & your country.

15. Call them. A grandparent, uncle, aunt, mother, father. Take the time to call them especially if they live far away, and find out how they are doing.

16. Send a note to your local school to urge the teachers to discuss Veterans Day. Visit Veterans’ Day Teacher Resource Guide for some tips.

17. Did you know November is also Military Family Month? By thanking the family, you thank the Veteran. Family Matters Blog: Nation Celebrates Military Family Month

18. Nearly 40 percent of our veteran population is 65 or older, give a veteran your phone number and ask them to call if they need help around the house. Make a note to call them this winter to see what they need.

19. Have your children paint a picture or write a letter. Send it to your grandparent, parent, aunt, uncle, brother, sister, any relative that is a veteran.

20. Recognize the Veterans in church on the Sunday before or after Veterans Day

21. Greet them on their special day with a smile and a thank you.

22. Remember Veterans during other holidays, especially those without family. Send a Thanksgiving card, Christmas card or Valentines card, to either a Vet that you know or through a VA Hospital or VFW.

23. Teach your children a patriotic song, like America the Beautiful or the Star Spangled Banner. Instill patriotism early.

24. Employers: Give the veterans in your company a paid afternoon off on Veterans Day.

25. Offer a Military Discount year round and include veterans.

26. Teachers: Invite a veteran to speak at your school, in a class room or to the entire school.

27. Walk a mile in their shoes instead of flipping the channel when the news comes on

28. Pray for them and their families, every day.

29. Start a Drive: Ask local businesses to participate in a drive for local veterans or deployed service-members.

30. Know a military family with a deployed member? Take them a treat on Veterans Day as a thank you and ask what you can do to make things easier.

31. Do you scrapbook? Make cards through the organization “Operation Write Home” At www.operationwritehome.org . They send them to the troops so that they troops can write letters home on them.

32. Tell them about local businesses special offers for them on Veterans Day.

33. Clean out your closets and contribute gently used household goods to Vietnam Veterans of America www.clothingdonations.org.

34. Do a random act of kindness for a vet or their family. Remain anonymous.

35. Say something to them on Facebook, Twitter, etc thanking them for their service.

36. Open up your house on Thanksgiving or another holiday to a few veterans (active-duty or prior-service) that don’t have any family in the area. Make it a holiday none of you will forget.

37. Visit Arlington National Cemetery, the Vietnam Veterans Wall, or any of the other War Memorials on your next trip to D.C.

38. Call a veteran-friend and get together over dinner or a movie.

39. Volunteer at a VA Medical Center.

40. Help a deployed single-service member by taking care of their pet while they are gone; get involved with a Pet Foster Care program info. at www.militaryavenue.com/articles.

41. Invite a few vets and friends over on Veterans Day and celebrate their service over beer, a football game, movie or game of pool in the basement.

42. Participate in the ‘Thank a Veteran at Work’ program from the History Channel.

43. Did a veteran in your neighborhood just come back from a deployment? Send them a card of ‘Thanks’.

44. Tell your Veterans friends & family about MilitaryAvenue.com. They can find businesses in their area that recognize veterans year round with Military Discounts.

45. Talk to your children about the pride we have in the Military.

46. Visit your local USO. What do they need? A monetary donation or a gift of your time?

47. Fly your flag 365 days of the year. Don’t forget to lower it when appropriate.

48. Teachers: Have your kids write short articles of how veterans are honored around the world or what Freedom means to them. And if you know any veterans locally, propose that your kids interview them about what it’s like to serve in the U.S. military.

49. Learn a fact about the particular branch of service your family member has joined.

50. Participate in the ‘Veterans History Project’ www.loc.gov/vets/kits.

51. Are you a military-brat? Talk to your parents about the pride you have in their service.

52. Offer to pick-up their bill (at a restaurant, bowling, ice cream stand, etc).

53. Hear the National Anthem playing? Stop what you are doing and think about the sacrifices of our US Military.

54. Wear an American flag on your clothing. It’s a small way to say, “I am proud of my country.”

55. Introduce your children to VA Kids www4.va.gov/kids from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

56. Do you scrapbook? Make a Scrapbook a page or a whole book honoring a service-person. Journal about how proud you are. Add the pages to your own family’s history.

57. Have a pot-luck, at church or a banquet hall, for a group of local veterans. Invite the community to participate.

58. Listen to them. Some just want to share a story from their service.

59. Vote. Don’t let them sacrifice for naught. Be a good citizen and do your part to protect the freedoms our service-people have fought and died for.

60. Dedicate a patriotic song in a veteran’s honor on the radio.

61. Tell your children all about your veteran-grandparents. What made them special and what they did as a veteran. Pass on a legacy.

62. Spot a DoD sticker on a car in the parking lot? Leave a note of Thanks.

63. Pass out small flags around your neighborhood in honor of Veterans Day.

64. Support the children of deployed National Guard and Reserve soldiers. Fund raise or contribute to ‘Our Military Kids’ www.ourmilitarykids.org.

65. Give them a big smile as you walk by, sometimes that is all that is needed.

66. If you see a veteran with an old flag on their pole leave them a new one, with a note of thanks for their service.

67. Do you have a veteran as an employee? Give them an extra time on break and a public Thank You on Veterans Day.

68. Visit a veteran’s grave. Even if you simply stand there for a moment of quiet reflection, you’re honoring their service–and you’re rededicating yourself to the freedoms we enjoy as a citizen of this country.

69. Find out which businesses in your community truly support veterans and the troops; become their customer.

70. Teachers: Teach your children about the history of Veterans Day by having them create a time line of events leading to the observance of the holiday.

71. Do you know the mom or dad of a veteran? Thank them for raising one of America’s Heroes.

72. Go to your local VFW ask if you can make a donation, either by money or donation of your time. If you have a family member that serves in the armed forces you could make a donation in their honor.

73. Teachers: Take the time to write letters to veterans thanking them for their service. A great opportunity to talk about citizenship (& practice their handwriting). Call your local USO, VFW, or VA Medical Center to have them delivered to.

74. In the market to hire? Seriously consider a Veteran. http://www.dol.gov/vets/.

75. Meditate on these words: “O Lord God of hosts, stretch forth, we pray, your almighty army to strengthen and protect the Soldiers of our country. Support them in the day of battle, and in the time of rest and training keep them safe from all evil. Endue them with courage and loyalty; and grant that in all things they may serve without reproach; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen” – From the Book of Worship for United States Forces.

76. Proudly display a “I support the troops” magnet on the bumper of your car.

77. Know a veteran that will be flying soon? Give them your upgrade coupon for their next flight.

78. Order a shnazzy t-shirt or perhaps a tie that shows your thankfulness. Have one sent to a veteran in your family.

79. Take the time to read 101 Ways to Say Thank you to a Military Spouse. Thanking the Spouse is a Thank You to the Veteran.

80. During a family reunion recognize the veterans in your family. A special toast or a big family “Thank you!”

81. Find out how you can help with a Community Service Project through your local VFW.

82. Organize a group (boys scouts, girl scouts, classroom) to write letters to veterans. Bring the letters & cards to a local nursing home to be delivered to their vets.

83. Support our troops this holiday season via ‘Red Cross Holiday Mail for Heroes’ program Find out more at www.militaryavenue.com.

84. Read some of the veterans’ stories at DAV Charitable Service Trust www.dav.dav.org/stories This is just a small sample of the sacrifices our service-members have made for us throughout the generations.

85. Is it still warm where you live? Treat a veteran to a round of golf on Veterans Day or the weekend before or after.

86. Attend a local parade or ceremony on Veterans Day.

87. Make a tax-deductible donation to www.booksforsoldiers.com/donate They send books and other care-packages to our deployed service-members.

88. Help a veteran with projects around his or her house. Patching a leaky roof, moving heavy rocks or rearranging the living room furniture is easier for the 20- somethings than a 60-somethings.

89. Make a lunch date: Take your veteran-colleague out for lunch.

90. Learn to say Thank You in sign-language.

91. Take pride in our history, in times of war and peace. Do you know the history of Veterans Day?

92. Ask your company to put a flag out. Offer to help with raising & lowering the flag.

93. Offer to take a veterans dog for a walk. Invite them to come along with you if they can.

94. Know a veteran’s hobby? Send them a subscription to a related magazine.

95. Offer to babysit for a veteran-military family. Let the husband and wife get out together on Veterans Day or over the weekend. Perhaps it will be a great opportunity for them to reconnect after a deployment.

96. Contribute your time, talent or money to Fisher House™ Foundation, “comfort homes,” built on the grounds of major military and VA medical centers.

97. Get involved and send a service-person a care package. Go to http://www.soldiersangels.org/ for a list of organizations with projects to support servicemen and servicewomen and their families.

98. Donate your airline mileage to the Hero Miles www.fisherhouse.org/programs program.

99. Business Owners: What kind of Veterans Day special are you having for your Veterans? Is it from the heart? If you meet a veteran on this Veteran’s Day, or any day, just say thanks. They served you, and this nation, well To truly honor our veterans love your country with passion, and do what you can to make it a better place!

(Source: townofbrighton.org)

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