We’re preparing for one of our favorite annual events: the Veterans Appreciation Tailgate at the University of Iowa’s Kinnick Stadium, which is scheduled for Saturday, November 3. Hosted by Johnson County Veterans Affairs, with support from several other Eastern Iowa VA offices and lots of organizational, business and individual sponsors, it’s a fun opportunity for local veterans and their families to hang out in the Kinnick Stadium Press Box, watch the (away) football game, and feel the love of support and appreciation for their service and dedication to our country.
For this event, we will be supplying chocolate medallions for each of the five military branches, as well as some eagles and stars.
We try to keep a stash of the chocolate military medallions on hand, which we give out as a thank you to veterans and service personnel who are in the shop. We pay attention to people’s shirts, jackets, hats, tattoos, and comments, and start conversations about their service. My father was a Marine, my brother graduated from West Point, and I have a number of family members who were in the military. But it’s really something I learned from a volunteer when I worked at Iowa City Hospice that has driven this practice. Mel McMorris, a Vietnam War Veteran who helped launch Iowa City Hospice’s Veterans at the End of Life program and training, told me how important and meaningful a simple “Thank you for your service” can be to a veteran. The chocolates are a small token of our immense appreciation for the great sacrifice made by our veterans, current service personnel, and their families.
If you know a veteran or current service person who would enjoy attending the event at Kinnick Stadium on November 3, please pass along the information. There is no need to RSVP, or show ID, and he or she does not need to be “local.” And remember to thank them for their service!