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Menahga students lined Highway 71 to welcome veterans in the VFW Ride for Healing Rally Thursday morning by waving flags and posters and cheering. (Anna Erickson / Enterprise)

Community gathers to honor vets

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Community gathers to honor vets
Park Rapids Minnesota PO Box 111 56470

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By Anna Erickson

aerickson@parkrapidsenterprise.com

The Menahga community came out in full force Thursday morning to welcome veterans participating in the VFW Ride for Healing Rally.

The Ride for Healing included five teams of motorcycle riders and classic car drivers leaving from five regions of the state to meet up in Brainerd at the end of the week. Along the way, the five teams are stopping at rally points where local celebrations and ceremonies were held, including the stop in Menahga.

VFW State Jr. Vice Commander Gary Anderson spoke at Menahga’s VFW Post 6206 after arriving in town.

“Thank to the children, the teachers who brought the kids out, the mayor, everyone,” he said. “I’ve found that some of the smaller posts do the most for us.”

The Ride for Healing is a large-scale event intended to honor the sacrifice and service of the state’s Vietnam veterans. Additionally, the state VFW group is calling for donations to help build an education center at the national Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Anderson called fellow Vietnam veterans his brothers and sisters. “When I returned from Vietnam, I snuck back both times,” he said of the shame some veterans felt. “I made a decry to never let that happen again.”

Donations are being collected to help fund the education center at the national Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Those interested in donating to the cause can go to www.rideforhealing.com.

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Anna Erickson
Anna Erickson is editor of the Wadena Pioneer Journal.
(218) 631-2561
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