Veterans Day during a pandemic

COVID-19 dampens traditional Veterans Day celebrations

CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - This Veterans Day looked different than years past.

For some, it meant smaller gatherings and concern for the veterans who are not able to join in celebration.

“They’re getting depressed out there. We need to get this over,” said Scott Smith, veteran and Post 3838 Senior Vice.

While many veterans and families came to a luncheon at Post 3838 in Cape Girardeau, the ongoing pandemic left seats empty. Smith thought about his fellow veterans who cannot be with them this year.

“Normally we would bring them here, all the veterans home would bring the veteran members here that can still get out and bring them out and feed them, and family gets to go out and see them," said Smith.

Even though COVID-19 restrictions make that impossible this year, Smith said two simple words can make all the difference.

“If you get a chance to go to your local veterans home, go by, tap on their window, tell them thank you for their service. That means the world to them. Especially when they can’t get out. That’ll be a big help," he said.

“I currently still serve, and like I told a comrade just a few minutes ago, I stand on the shoulders of great leadership," said Bill McDonald, Post 3838 Commander and Army recruiter.

According to McDonald, those who served before him allow him to make a positive impact on the next generation.

“I’m able to impact someone’s life at the very beginning of them entering the military and then after they exit the military, I can impact their life again, and I like to consider myself blessed to be in that position," he said.

That appreciation for fellow veterans and from others makes this day even more meaningful.

“It’s not just us but it’s the families that you leave behind and the community that you leave behind, and so it’s nice to be thanked," said Smith.

Both Smith and McDonald invite local veterans to join their post in Cape Girardeau if they haven’t already.

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