Breakfast will help honor guards maintain uniforms

Published 9:40 am Friday, April 30, 2010

The VFW and American Legion honor guards attended about 80 funerals in 2009. There were also community events, including Veterans Day, Memorial Day, Fourth of July and flag raisings and dedications, bringing the total number of times the retired military men went out to about 100.

All that puts a great deal of stress on their uniforms, said Bill Christenson of the American Legion.

“We got new uniforms two years ago, but the uniforms still need to be maintained,” Christensen said, adding they need to be dry cleaned and altered.

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The VFW has similar needs, said Duane Hatleli.

The honor guards have summer gear and winter gear. They also use rifles and need shells for their 21-gun salutes.

One regular uniform for either organization costs between $700 and $800. They have to be outfitted with ties, caps, patches and other accessories, the men added. The American Legion Honor Guard has 24 members and the VFW Honor Guard has about 15 members.

To help the organizations continue to do their work, Bonnerup Funeral Service, 2210 E. Main St., is hosting a pancake breakfast from 8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sunday. Dennis Brue’s famous pancakes, sausage and eggs will be served for a suggested donation of $6 per person.

Steve Merfeld, funeral director at Bonnerup, said the funeral home donates each year to the organization, but felt it would be even more beneficial to hold a breakfast and increase that donation tenfold.

“They’ve been very good to us,” Merfeld said of the honor guard. “We want to show our appreciation to the honor guard for being so dependable and professional in providing military honors to the families we serve.”

The public is invited to the breakfast.