- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 20, 2005

Dear Sgt. Shaft:

Men and women who served in the U.S. armed forces now can display their military service with VetSignias, magnetized vehicle plaques.

Our small group of retired veterans has been making Veterans Recognition Window Stickers for the past 12 years. Several veterans’ groups asked for the magnetized plaques. We spent over a year tracking down quality materials and perfecting a process to assemble these materials. They’ve been tested in 11 states. The VetSignias are a distinctive and attractive reminder to all. They let the veteran say: “I did it when it had to be done and I’m proud of it.”

The unique plaques are 5.75 inches by 2.5 inches, black print on bright silver with a stars-and-stripes background. They cling firmly to most metal surfaces.

Plaques are available honoring service in World War II; the Korean, Vietnam and Persian Gulf wars; overseas expeditionary campaigns; and peacetime. They are available to those who served in the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard or Merchant Marine.

Veterans who served in wartime can display the name of the war in which they served and their branches of service — for example; “Vet/Korea/U.S. Army” or “Vet/Vietnam/U.S.Marines.”

Plaques for those who served in expeditionary campaigns such as Panama, Somalia, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Afghanistan, Iraq, etc., show the branch of service and the word “expeditionary” — for example: “Vet/U.S.Army/Expeditionary” or “Vet/U.S. Air Force/Expeditionary.”

Veterans who served during peacetime can get plaques that show their branch of service, like “Vet/U.S. Navy” or “Vet/U.S. Coast Guard.”

We think veterans should be recognized on more than just a couple of special holidays like Memorial Day and Veterans Day. These distinctive plaques give the veteran everyday visibility.

The VetSignia plaques are two for $10 (shipping and handling included). Send requests to Bob Kline, Box 382, Blue Bell, PA 19422. Be sure to include the branch of service, war, expeditionary, or peacetime. For more information, call 610/277-1171 or e-mail [email protected]

Bob Kline, World War II, U.S Marines

For the VetSignia group

Dear Bob:

This is a great way to support our troops and their families and show you care enough to honor the very best.

Shaft notes

• The following special words by Abba Hillel Silver also reflect what is good about the United States: the people.

God built a continent of glory and filled it with treasures untold;

He carpeted it with soft-rolling prairies and columned it with thundering mountains;

He studded it with sweet-flowing fountains and traced it with long-winding streams;

He planted it with deep-shadowed forests, and filled them with song,

Then he called unto a thousand peoples and summoned the bravest among them.

They came from the ends of the earth, each bearing a gift and a hope.

The glow of adventure was in their eyes, and in their hearts the glory of hope.

And out of the bounty of earth and the labor of men,

Out of the longing of hearts and the prayer of souls,

Out of the memory of ages and hopes of the world,

God fashioned a nation in love, blessed it with

Purpose sublime — and called it AMERICA.

• The Sarge is looking forward to joining the Veterans Affairs Alumni Association at its annual holiday luncheon Dec. 8 at the Pier 7 Restaurant. The event will feature a presentation by my friend “Man About Town” Bob Madigan of WTOP Radio.

President Pamela Gates promises that holiday festivities will abound, including door prizes and singalongs. Donations for the Hurricane Katrina fund will be made by VA Alumni Association members and forwarded to the American Red Cross.

Additional information is available by calling Leon Sanchez at 703/451-7529.

• For those of you who have some gently used books around the house, why not donate them to military personnel and hospitalized veterans?

If you live near a Veterans Affairs hospital, you can deliver books personally to the volunteer office. To locate a VA hospital near you, visit https://www1.va.gov/directory/guide/home.asp.

For wider distribution, you may mail a book contribution to the American War Library. That facility will forward your books to veterans in VA hospitals. Please note that they want books, not money with which to buy books.

Send your books through the U.S. Postal Service with low-cost Media Mail to:

Books For Vets

American War Library

16907 Brighton Ave., Rear Building

Gardena, CA 90247-5420

• Send letters to Sgt. Shaft, c/o John Fales, PO Box 65900, Washington, D.C. 20035-5900; fax 301/622-3330; call 202/257-5446; or e-mail [email protected]

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