Weiser Elks members pay veterans Christmas visit, deliver blankets

Elks Lodge representatives visited care centers in Weiser for Christmas. The painting above especially moved them.
Philip A. Janquart
Last week, Weiser Elks members took time to visit veterans currently residing in Weiser care facilities.
 Former Exalted Ruler Ken Salzsieder and wife Mandie, also an Elks member, brought blankets, depicting an American eagle and an American flag, to 14 veterans at The Cottages of Weiser and Weiser Care of Cascadia.
 “As far as I know, the lodge has never given gifts to veterans around Christmas time,” Ken said. “I thought it was a good idea, just to thank them for their service at this time of year; and what could be more patriotic than an eagle and an American flag?”
 Together, Ken and Mandie comprise the Weiser Elks Veterans Committee.
 The idea to recognize the veterans turned out to be a good one, according to Ken who said all were grateful for the gesture.
 Some elderly individuals residing at care facilities have no one to come see them, so the visit alone can be a welcoming occasion, especially during Christmas.
 “They were happy and some of them were teary,” Ken said. “Some people probably never have been thanked for their service.”
 What especially affected Ken that day was a painting depicting one of the veterans in his uniform that hung on the door outside of his room.
 “It was a painting of this guy from when he was younger; it’s in his uniform and he’s young, and it just touches you,” he said. “This is the man lying in the bed in front of you and he’s much older now and that’s what people see, not the picture on the door.”
 He said that it’s easy to forget that the elderly were, at one time, young themselves and once made contributions to their communities and their country, which we all enjoy today, in part, because of what they have done in the past.
 “A lot of people look at them like they are just cranky old people, but we have to remember that they pushed this country along just like everybody else,” he said. “Just because they are old now doesn’t mean they didn’t pull their weight.”


Signal American

18 E. Idaho St.
Weiser, ID 83672
PH: (208) 549-1717
FAX: (208) 549-1718

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