"In Flanders Fields the Poppies blow......"
Most people have heard of Buddy Poppies, often from a father, brother, or other family member that served during combat in WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Grenada or in the countless battles throughout the middle east or in Afghanistan, Those with relatives who have served are usually aware of the traditions surrounding the Buddy Poppy, and most give generously during our drives. We veterans truly appreciate the generosity and kindness shown by today's citizens. Veterans believe there is no greater gift than that of appreciative citizens, for without them our veterans would be without help for their wounds, both physical and mental.
VFW Post 11999 conducts Buddy Poppy Drives several times a year, but not always on the traditional dates. Beginning with Memorial Day, and Cloudcroft's traditional May Fair event the same weekend, one can see the logic in our BP drives: Many Posts across the country handout Buddy poppies on Memorial Day; Post 11999 distributes them at Mayfair in Zenith Park on the Saturday and Sunday before Memorial Day. On Memorial Day we hold services at three widely disbursed local Cemeteries: James Canyon Cemetery, Mayhill Cemetery and the Weed Cemetery.
We also distribute Buddy Poppies at the July Jamboree because of the generally patriotic feelings felt by most during that month.
Octoberfest is another time for Buddy Poppies, but not because of any particular holiday. In most of the country, Buddy Poppies are handed out during Veterans Day November 11th. In Cloudcroft, early November can be quite cold, with ice and snow and very few people on the streets. For our Post to meet its goals of service to our fellow veterans, we hold our Buddy Poppy drive in October. We do have a Spaghetti Supper near Veterans Day, and distribute Poppies then, mostly to local people.