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Veterans of Foreign Wars post holds Memorial Day donation drive in Leland

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On Saturday, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 12196 pitched up tents around Leland to collect donations and give out Buddy Poppys (Photo:Nate Mauldin/WWAY)

LELAND, NC (WWAY) — On Saturday, Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 12196 pitched up tents around Leland to collect donations and give out Buddy Poppys. The Buddy Poppy has become a widely recognized symbol for Memorial Day since the VFW began distributing them in 1923.   

Desert Storm veteran Michael Howe said he became VFW member last year when he saw an information tent at a car show in Leland.  

“You know, I wanted to join, I’ve been here two and a half years and I just wanted to get involved. VFW does great things for veterans, it’s just a great organization,” he said. 

Chris Mattiace served in Vietnam from 1967 to 1968. His company suffered a 100% causality rate, meaning everyone was either injured, or died in combat.  

“I was wounded twice. One in my leg, and all of my teeth on the left side. So that was already gone back then,” he said. 

Mattiace notes although Memorial Day recognizes those who have fallen in combat, the funds the VFW raises go towards enriching the lives of veterans year-round.  

“They need people and themselves, and we take care of them no matter what. From the post, that’s what we do,” he said 

Howe adds that honoring the fallen gives purpose to loss.  

“I just think just to be able to have that significant day is so important, so that we can honor the fallen,” he said. 

To learn more about the VFW, or to donate, visit their website. 



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