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In Remembrance

VFW honors fallen service members for Memorial Day.

May 29, 2017
Jessica Salmond - News Editor ( , Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

The Fort Myers Beach VFW members gathered outside their post Monday morning for an annual and honored tradition: honoring the men and women who have died in service to the county.

Senior Commander Dale Mangione spoke to a crowd of members and their families, who came to the post for community and lunch to commemorate the day. The Guns and Hoses pipe band lead a procession out in front of the post, and Ralph Blydenburgh played TAPS.

The event followed a weekend of fundraising for the post, said Senior Vice Commander Rob Barnes. The VWF's members went out into the community to sell the iconic "buddy poppies" to raise money for the VFW's many outreach and support programs for veterans.

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Ralph Blydenburgh plays TAPS.

"It's the most important day of the year to remember the brothers and sisters who have fallen in defense of our nation," Barnes said.

Ken Corr, a member of the Fort Myers Beach post, attended the ceremony with his family. In just under a month, Corr will be elevated to the Commander of the VFW of Florida, the leader of all the posts in Florida. There are about 66,000 veterans who are VFW members in Florida.

Corr served in the U.S. Army as a combat medic in 2003 and 2004.

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"There's a saying - lawyers and politicians didn't make America free. It's the American veteran who made the country free." Rob Barnes, Senior Vice Commander of the Fort Myers Beach VFW Post 10097

"The VFW is important because we take care of the veterans," he said. "Aide for veterans is here, financially, emotionally."



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