They just want to say “thanks.” With Veterans Day coming up Sunday, two local businesses have launched projects to honor those who are or have served in the armed forces.
The south wall of the front foyer at Waters True Value Hardware, 1649 K-96 in Great Bend, has been turned into a Wall of Honor. “The idea is to pay tribute to our service men and women,” said Derek Fredrick, store manager.
Waters is seeking 5x7-inch photographs (which are non-returnable) of active military personnel or veterans to be affixed to the display. Also included will be a information about the service member pictured, including their branch of service, rank and special honors, gathered via a questionnaire.
“We wanted to do something for our veterans,” Fredrick said. “This is a small way to say ‘thank you.’”
The idea started small. “We have a number of veterans here at the store,” the manager said. “It spread to their families and to our customers.”
Fredrick said there are no plans to take the photos down anytime soon.
The store will also feature vets on its marque sign and will offer gifts to vets Friday through Sunday.
Meanwhile, in downtown Great Bend, the west wall of the Bank of America Lobby is plastered with at least 300 red and blue “Thank You” cards in the shape of an American flag. They contain messages from Great Bend High School students to military personnel and vets.
“We had a tremendous response,” said Tammy Watford, assistant manager at the bank. The cards were given to the teachers at GBHS who, in turn, had there classes complete them.
“We had more cards than we knew what to do with,” Watford said. So, she harked back to her past experience working in grade school making bulletin boards and came up with the flag concept.
“It was fun putting up,” she said.
This was the second year for the cards. Last year, local grade school children had their turn.
Branch Manager January Pecora said the cards will remain on the walls until the first part of next week. Then they will be taken down and mailed to servicemen and women, as well as veterans.
According to Pecora, the card idea is part of Bank of America’s overall National Veterans’ Day promotion. The company also works closely with soldiers and vets to provide the services they need.