A road sign is always important because it directs one to a facility or establishment.
In Craig County, the local VFW Post #4491 has a directional road sign on Route 615 which directs people to their local Veterans Post.
The last few years the weather has taken a toll on it, including it getting bumped several times.
“We’ve been looking at that sign for a few years now as it had continued to fade to the point that it couldn’t be read,” said Pam Dudding. “Our Veterans are very important to us, and replacing it was something we could do to help support them, as they are very involved in our community.”
In 2019, three Military dinner team members – Betty Dudding, Pam Dudding and Lynn Elmore – tirelessly worked to raise funds for the Ninth Annual Veterans and Active Military HONOR Dinner. Their goal was to receive enough door prizes for every military person who attended and to help curb the costs of serving the military that day, including family members and volunteers.
The team then decided to forego the additional small gift they usually bought for all military personnel, which they have done the previous eight years. Instead, they gave the VFW Post #4491 a check for the use of the facility and also replaced the VFW directional and informational sign on Route 615.
“Many times, people have asked where the Craig County VFW Post is located,” Pam noted. “With the new sign in place, it will be much easier to find as well as a reminder to support our local military.”
Pam also mentioned that calls were made to the appropriate personnel to make sure the sign was within code regulations for the road. “We duplicated the exact sign they already had,” she pointed out. “Betty was the one who raised most of the funds last year. Even though she was kicking on 80, she was determined to get those door prizes and, in those efforts, also received some monetary donations.”
“It was a blessing to receive monetary donations from businesses and citizens of Craig that was put to good use for our Veterans,” Betty said. “Any monies we have left after the dinner is spent back to the VFW in some form. This sign was badly needed, and I am glad it came to fruition.”
Businesses in Craig opened their hearts and pocketbooks for the annual dinner. The team did not have to pay for anything this year, except for a few things each donated, their time and dedication.
“We strive to bring excellence to our dinner as we feel our military in Craig have given so much of themselves, and so did their families when they served our country,” Pam said.
Lynn added, “We want to let them know that we appreciate them all and this is just another way to do it.”
Today, there are approximately 80 member Veterans at Post #4491. Each of them faithfully continue to serve Craig County. “Our mission is to continue to be more involved in our community and continue to support our local Veterans in whatever capacity we can,” Commander Billy Lee shared.
Veterans in Craig County assist Feeding America monthly, purchase new flags for the local schools, hold food drives for the local food bank and help them built shelves, deliver meals for Fishes and Loaves, offer the use of the building for the Annual Veterans and Active Military HONOR dinner, assist the youth in the Shooting Stars by allowing them to use their facility, and annually hold the Youth Essay contests at the schools. They also present a Teacher of the Year Award, Firefighter of the Year Award, EMT of the Year Award and Policeman of the Year Award in addition to holding the District VFW meetings.
Post #4491 also provides military funeral services for those who wish to have one and are on standby for Oakey’s and other funeral homes in neighboring counties.
The Post donated the flags and stands for the monument for the Craig County officers that have lost their lives in the line of duty. They are displayed at the Sheriff’s office.
Those interested in joining VFW need to have fought in a war or conflict or received one of several ribbons. For more information, Commander Billy Lee can be reached at 540-864-6169.