Protecting Our Protectors

Jasmine Brogden, Staff Writer~

The American Legion will be invaded by veterans on Saturday, April 29 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. There’s no battle occurring; though, the Lynchburg Area Veterans Council is planning to hold its first Community Lynchburg Spring Market.

The council hopes to engage the veterans in being an active part in the Lynchburg area. They also want to raise funds to better fulfil the veterans’ needs. All proceeds will go directly to serving the veterans in our community.

Lou Olson, organizer for Community Lynchburg, stated that, “It is important for our veterans to engage [in] our community, so we can build relationships and [an] understanding about military service to our country of the past, present and future.”

Instead of charging for tickets, the organizers just request that eventgoers donate a dollar to one of the many veteran organizations that will be in attendance. Some of these organizations are the Lynchburg Area Veterans Council (LAVC), American Legion, Vietnam Vets, Purple Heart, New Freedom Farm, Combat Vets and Rolling Thunder.

The event will have musical acts as well as artisan displays present. E41 bluegrass band, from the Liberty University Music department, will be entertaining from 9 a.m. – 12 p.m. They will have a large variety of artisans who are participating. All of them are either veterans themselves or have veteran family members who came to them because they see the vision of engagement.

Veterans have various, unique needs that may require the aid of others. These can range from social to medical, emotional or financial needs.

According to Olson, many veterans just aren’t aware of what services are out there for them. Each organization at the fair brings a “special” skill.

For example, a member of “New Freedom Farm” named Lois Fritz aids veterans through animals. Her way of healing humans is primarily with horses. Her specialty is treating those with post-traumatic stress disorder. Lois will be bringing her mini ponies to this event.

Olson disclosed some information that she hopes will bring in young people, maybe even students: Food will also be available at the event.

“Students are the future of our country. Students can help by listening to our veterans tell their stories and never forget what they have done by sharing and remembering the sacrifices that were made for our freedoms. Don’t underestimate the value of honoring our veterans by sharing their stories,” expressed Olson.

Honor the vets with your presence, she said.

If you do decide to attend, be sure to stop by the “One-Way-Out” game booth. They have intentionally prepared veteran games to initiate our students to engage with our veterans.

Olson voiced that there are many ways to help veterans. Coming to the fair could be a good start.