The Yadkin Valley Cruisers hosts an annual event to show the area’s appreciation for the bravery of soldiers.
The Cruisers will host their 5th Annual Veterans Appreciation Cruise-In on May 18 from 4 to 9 p.m. in downtown Yadkinville behind the Yadkin County Courthouse.
“It was first thought of five years ago by our then-sitting president Larry Shore,” said Eugene Swaim, an organization member. “It’s just to show the veteran’s our appreciation. I don’t think veterans get enough recognition for what they do and what they go through.”
Veterans who attend the event and register will receive a free hot dog or hamburger and drink courtesy of the Courtney Ruritan Club.
This year’s event will feature a special tribute to Vietnam veterans. The cruisers have also arranged for a piece of the World Trade Center to be on display.
“A guy that’s in our club went to a parade in Salisbury and he saw the piece of the World Trade Center and he approached the Salisbury Fire Department about attending this event with that piece and they agreed,” Swaim said.
The USA Proud tractor-trailer will also be on display courtesy of Cargo Transporters. The truck features art honoring our men and women serving in the military.
The Hamptonville VFW will perform a flag folding ceremony to honor those serving, those who have served and returned home and those who lost their lives serving their country.
The event will also feature live music from Maxcountry. Swaim said that Max Phillips leads the band and he is also a Vietnam veteran.
Swaim says Emmitt Bowers from Galax, VA will return to this year’s event to bring memorabilia items from Vietnam.
“He’s got rifles and hand grenades and backpacks and things that we used to use in Vietnam,” Swaim said. “He’s also got some World War II stuff and he’s got a hand of sand from Iwo Jima.”
A 50/50 drawing will be held and the proceeds will go to benefit Veterans Helping Veterans Heal.
The veteran’s facility can house up to 30 veterans and provides medical care and counseling in house.
The purpose of the facility is to help veterans overcome obstacles so they can move into permanent housing and reestablish themselves into society.
“It’s not a rehab center but they do have doctors and psychologists and nurses to come in ever so often to check on the guys,” Swaim said. “They help with their disabilities and do whatever they can do for them physically and mentally. They try to find them a place in society that they fit.”
The Yadkin Valley Cruisers want to invite any veterans in Yadkin and Surry Counties to attend the event.
The event in 2012 saw between 140 and 150 registered veterans, the Cruisers hope to increase that number at this year’s event.
Veterans who are interested in attending just need to register the day of the event. A table will be set up behind the courthouse.
“This event is priceless. It just makes me proud to be an American and a veteran,” Swaim said. “The guys from Vietnam never really got a welcome home and so this is something that needs to be done for the veterans. They risked their life for this country and somebody needs to shake their hands and say thank you and that’s what this is for.”
Reach Lindsay Craven at 679-2341 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.