When Martin Spani, Post 1040’s Commander and I attended the Convention in Yakima, the meeting hall, hallways, and dining room were draped with the pictures of our young KIA’s from this state. It was a sober reminder why we need to be here for the next generation of veterans. Martin borrowed five of the banners shown following the convention. These young men were all from this area. The project is the creation of a Gold Star mother from Spokane who has created a banner for each KIA from the state of Washington and we were honored to carry them and show the crowd the face of sacrifice—not just some name published in the newspaper. I wasn’t sure of the impact these had until a fellow in my office building popped into my office and told me his wife who attended the parade, was brought to tears when she saw these banners.
We had a great turnout for the parade and even a bigger turnout for the BBQ at the Legion Hall afterwards. Of course, there were a few faces in there eating our food we didn’t recognize, but what the heck, it was a great BBQ thanks to Tom Hallums of our Post who put the entire event together by himself. He is now permanently in charge of it.