Every Day Is Memorial Day

Flags will fly high in Cary this Memorial Day weekend. Many families will head for the beach, or fire up the grill at home. The Triangle Wind Ensemble will put on An American Celebration on Sunday, May 27, at Koka Booth Amphitheatre, where patrons are welcome to bring picnics and enjoy orchestral classics from the wind symphony.

But in addition to honoring fallen veterans, several organizations in Western Wake are devoted to honoring and serving living veterans and active duty military members throughout the year.  

Military Missions in Action, founded in Fuquay-Varina by a retired member of the Coast Guard, offers a variety of programs to the entirety of North Carolina. Home modifications for wounded veterans or those suffering from PTSD are the largest initiatives. MMIA also sends packages with personal care items and comfort foods to deployed troops. Other programs are also offered. See militarymissionsinaction.org for information.

St. Paul’s Episcopal Church Veterans and Military Outreach ministry supports deployed military and returning veterans who live in North Carolina. The ministry has run collection drives for homeless veterans. Via the Adopt a Soldier project, St. Paul’s also sends care packages to deployed troops. A backpack program fills backpacks with personal care items, which are then given to the Durham VA Medical Center for distribution. For more information, contact Brenda St. Laurent, bdstlaurent1@gmail.com.

The USO of North Carolina offers a unique program, the Honors Support Team. Founded by volunteers at the Raleigh-Durham International Airport, volunteers give plane-side military honors to fallen service members making their final journey home. Video programs allow family members to film videos to send to their deployed loved ones, and deploying troops to film themselves reading a book to play for their children while they are away. Multiple other programs are available as well. See uso-nc.org.

Gates open at 5 p.m. for An American Celebration, with the concert starting at 7:30 p.m. For more information and tickets, see boothamphitheatre.com.


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