On Monday, Oct. 9, the troop hosted ceremonies to bless and honor three veterans for whom they were able to provide granite slab foundations -- Charles Phillips, Edward O'Connor, and William J. Hannett. In order to do this, the Troop has raised approximately $5,500, long past its original goal of $1,000.
The U.S. Government provides the headstones, said Debra Emme, troop leader and office assistant at Davison County Veterans Service Office.
First Sgts. Chuck Eilts and Dean Weis provided military honors for the ceremonies, and presented the Troop with a properly folded flag for each veteran. Joe Graves, a deacon from Holy Family Church in Mitchell, provided the blessings for each headstone and foundation.
Emme said the Troop will keep one flag, a second flag will go to a great-great nephew of Charles Phillips, and the third flag will be displayed in the Davison County Commissioners chambers.
The Troop will continue to raise money for more foundations, said Emme. There are still at least eight more veterans buried within Mitchell's Graceland and Calvary cemeteries who did not receive proper headstones or foundations.
The Troop has worked with Shafer Memorials in Mitchell to set up a fund for the project. Anyone who wants to donate can call Shafer Memorials at 605-996-3115, or stop by the office at 1023 N. Main Street. Just let them know your donation is for the Troop's project.
"There are still many (veterans) without a headstone, so our goal is to go through and continually seek those in need and complete the research," Emme said.
|First Sgt. Chuck Eilts presents a flag to Girl Scout Troop 57005.|
(Photo by Anna Jauhola)
|First Sgt. Dean Weis and First Sgt. Chuck Eilts fold an American Flag to present to Girl Scout Troop 57005 during a recognition ceremony on Monday, Oct. 9. (Photo by Anna Jauhola)|