On Friday, May 19, Navy veteran Bill Anderson spent the day greeting customers at Lunds and Byerly’s grocery store in Navarre.
He was collecting money for the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) chapter in Mound and handing out poppies to people as they came into the store.
“I’ve been doing this every year for the last ten years,” Anderson said.
Anderson said he loves seeing the community come together to support local veterans. He said last year was a particularly windy day and at one point, his donation box blew over, sending the donation money everywhere. Anderson said the employees at the store jumped up to help him recover all of the money.
“The employees reacted like soldiers at the invasion of Normandy,” Anderson said. “It was so nice to see them want to help out.”
Donations for the Buddy Poppies go to “disabled and needy veterans, who would be paid for their work to provide them with financial assistance,” according to the VFW website. The tradition started in 1924 and continues today, with veterans in VA hospitals making the poppies thanks to financial assistance from the VFW. For more information on Buddy Poppies, visit www.vfw.org.