Making A Difference: MS Friends of Veterans - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

Making A Difference: MS Friends of Veterans

Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT
Source: WLBT Source: WLBT

The people who have made a difference for us are our veterans. And the people making a difference for THEM, Friends of Mississippi Veterans.

Here is the most tangible thing the Friends of Mississippi Veterans have helped establish in the state; the Mississippi Veterans Cemetery near Newton. Jack Winstead is the president of the group and says the cemetery was obvious after the possibility of such a thing was enacted.

Friends of Mississippi Veterans was organized about six years ago," said President Jack Winstead. "We found out there was a possibility of getting federal funds for a veteran's cemetery in Mississippi because we had over 200,000 veterans. We’ve had over 530 burials since we opened it four years ago. Really, we had intended to do this and then step aside but you know it’s hard to stop. So we have continued on. In fact, we have helped them locate a site and have a new cemetery under construction up at Kilmichael that will be open next spring.

The group also raised the money for signage and a carillon at Newton, things federal funds can’t be used for. And they are doing the same thing for the new cemetery at Kilmichael. They visit the four VA Nursing homes in the state and also take part in "Wreaths across America" where a Christmas wreath is placed on every veteran’s grave in December.

"This past year, nationwide there was over a million wreaths placed on soldier’s graves. At Newton, we put them on 530. That’s how many burials we had there prior to that," said Jack. "We will continue this. Next year we will add the Kilmichael cemetery. Who knows, we might be able to branch out later with local churches and cemeteries and go even beyond that."

It’s a touching tribute to a group of men and women that we all owe a great deal of gratitude to. Thank you to the Friends of Mississippi Veterans for Making A Difference to the people who have made a great deal of difference to us.

For information on burial in the Mississippi Veterans' Cemeteries contact the Veterans Affairs Board. And to help the Friends of Mississippi Veterans with their ongoing projects contact them. And EVERYBODY has a web page nowadays. 

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