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November 26, 2018 · OPINION

VFW Poppy Drive raises awareness about veterans

Warrenton VFW Post 9835 volunteers distributed more than 1,200 poppies over Veterans Day weekend.
By Jennifer Bowman
Senior Vice Commander
VFW Post 9835, Warrenton

Over Veterans Day weekend our VFW held its Buddy Poppy Drive in Warrenton, and it was a success on all fronts. Twenty-five members of the post and auxiliary donated nearly 150 hours and handed out more than 1,200 poppies. We signed up several new members as well.

But the Poppy Drive is more than just the numbers, it’s also raising awareness of veterans and hearing stories from grateful families who stopped by to donate and have a chat.

It’s about the fellow who happily shared stories of his grandfather who served in the Winchester 80th Division and fought in World War I at Meuse-Argonne.

It’s about the woman who brought grandchildren to donate coins for poppies the same way her mother once brought her.

It’s the proud but anxious dad whose son is deploying overseas one more time.

It’s the man who broke down in tears because his father, a Vietnam Veteran, is going into hospice, and he knows it won’t be long before he has to say goodbye to the best man he’s ever known.

It’s the couple whose Marine Corps son returned from Afghanistan suffering from PTSD and their heartbreak of hearing Taps played at Arlington.

It’s about honoring our veterans, the fathers and daughters, the uncles and brothers, the sisters, mothers, cousins and kin of all kind. It’s about strengthening memories and building traditions.

As in years past, the community once again responded generously to our Poppy Drive. A full 97 percent of their donations stay in Fauquier County to help local veterans, promote patriotism in our youth, and award teachers, law enforcement, and first responders. The remaining 3 percent goes to help veterans nationally.

Many thanks to Walmart, Safeway and Giant Foods for letting us set up outside their stores. And we are so very grateful to everyone contributed.

For more pictures from the Poppy Drive, visit us at
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Jim Griffin · December 29, 2018 at 12:20 pm
I applaud the event, its goals and the work of its supporters, but I've always thought it odd that the very poppies that produce opiates are at the center of the campaign. I did not know this until researching these poppies that grow wild alongside our driveway as they do elsewhere in this region.

The story leads to Heinrich Dreser (and chemist Felix Hoffman), Bayer executive who brought Aspirin and Heroin to market, claiming Heroin a non-addictive cough suppressant; test subjects said it made them feel like heroes. Sadly, Dreser died of a heroin-induced stroke that might've been avoided had he taken an aspirin a day:

Bayer was stripped of its patents and trademarks after the war, both heroin and aspirin then finding wider distribution. Aspirin and heroin are sometimes referred to as the most successful legal drug and the most successful illegal drug.
bowoman58 · December 27, 2018 at 2:32 pm
You can find the additional photos from our Poppy Drive here (click the link and scroll to the bottom of the article):
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