Battle Cross Crusaders hosting Veterans Day appreciation dinner on November 11


CLINTON — The Battle Cross Crusaders, a local program comprised of Korea and Vietnam veterans that honors veterans in unique ways, is organizing a Veterans Day appreciation dinner on November 11 from 6-9 p.m. at Little Galilee Christian Camp. The event is open to any honorably discharged, DeWitt County veteran who served our country.

The first 30 DeWitt County honorably discharged veterans who sign up will receive a free Jimmy Johns sub gift card and a gift bag.

Registration is required for all veterans and guests, either at Little Galilee’s website or by contacting the event coordinator Jeff Morlock, Battle Cross Crusader founder at (217) 853-2530.

The event is open only to veterans and two invited guests at this time.

There will be a free meal for veterans, which will be provided by the Texas Road House, Forsyth, location, Little Galilee, Kirby Foods, and Randy Lowe.

Additional veterans’ family members are $12 each for the meal with a limit of two guests per veteran.

The Battle Cross Crusaders veterans tribute program has arranged the following events to honor our veterans:

• Quilt of Valor presentations for five local U.S. Army veterans, a presentation by Kenney, Ill. redisent Al Hassebrock, who witnessed three Apollo splashdowns, (Apollo 8 - 9 - 11), as a member of the U.S. Navy, while serving during the Vietnam war.

Attending will be a special guest coming in from out of state, and will have a personal song performed by a professional songwriter from Iowa, about his life story.

A song written about Battle Cross Crusader member, Clinton Vietnam veteran David Henard, U.S. Army gunship pilot will be played to a video of pictures of him during his service.

Henard received 18 Air Medals and the Distinguished Flying Cross during his service to our country.

The evening will conclude with a presentation from Matt Kreeb, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Sentinel #510.

There will be a short question and answer session after each presentation concludes.

Information will be available for local veterans programs the Battle Cross Crusaders program works in tandem with, including the Battle Cross Crusaders, Quilt of Valor, Honor Flight Network, Wapella Veterans Wall, Forever Young, and several other great veteran friendly programs.

There will be several door prize drawings, courtesy of the local DQ, Jimmy Johns, Monicals Pizza, Jay Peterson of Peterson Insurance, John Miller of Sorrentos Pizza.

There will also be a silent auction with some items, which were donated by several local businesses as well to help the Battle Cross Crusaders program launch new ideas in the coming year.

The Battle Cross Crusaders program honors veterans along their funeral routes by having members wait along the procession route, on viaducts with flags, and at the entrance of the cemetery with flags as the veteran and family pass by. 

At the gravesites, they present the next of kin a flag with a medallion of the branch the veteran served in, a certificate to have the veterans name placed on the Wapella Veterans wall, and also present the family with a specially designed flag case to display the funeral flag of their loved one.

The Crusaders also conduct Library of Congress veterans’ history interviews, submit them to the Library of Congress and organize honor parades for WW II veterans’ birthdays.  They also organize welcome home police and fire escorts for all local veterans returning from the Honor Flight, and many more nontraditional fashions.

If anyone would like to volunteer for the event, donate a door prize or to join the Battle Cross Crusader program, contact Jeff Morlock Battle Cross Crusaders Founder, at (217) 853-2530.

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