I had a pleasant experience the other day while shopping at Atwoods. An elderly gentleman saw my Vietnam CPN Veteran cap and approached me and said, “Vietnam, I see, well I was a little bit ahead of you. I was with UDT at Normandy in 1944, and there was nobody there, but us. We cleared the way for the main group coming in after us. I was wounded twice, but survived. How old are you?”

I told him 71.

He said, “I could be your daddy,” and then proceeded to tell me in detail about what he and his team did on D-Day back in 1944. I never tire of hearing the stories from fellow veterans about their adventures in the military. The cap I wear tells them that I’m willing to listen if you want to talk. No one understands like a fellow veteran. We are all brothers regardless which branch you served in.

I received information that some of you may or may not know about. The Department of Veterans Affairs and the YMCA are expanding their partnership to work together to improve the health and services to veterans and their  families. The YMCA has provided services to military personnel and veterans ever since the Civil War. They were the forerunners of the G.I. Bill. Now they have expanded to help the VA in the area of employment, homelessness, healthy lifestyle programming and reentering civilian life.

We are starting a new year with great expectations. Our active membership is growing and promises to be an even better year. All CPN veterans and their families are invited to join us each month on the fourth Tuesday at 6 p.m. in the North Reunion Hall on the CPN Powwow Grounds. A meal is provided.