|Solute to Veterans
Submitted by Elena Coates, GFWC Florida
In 2010, GFWC Florida chose “Salute to Veterans” as the theme for Florida’s Fall Board Meeting. GFWC clubwomen from all over the state who had served, or were currently serving, in the military were honored. All weekend red, white, and blue were proudly displayed from decorations, to dress, to accessories.
Saturday evening’s dinner program focused on female veterans, and the evening started with a special President’s Reception for all the veterans attending. The reception gave the women an opportunity to meet the president, the Executive Committee, and each other. This reception was followed by a veteran procession into the main ballroom where fellow clubwomen cheered them on.
Colonel George “Bud” Day, a WWII, Korean War, and Vietnam War veteran, gave a moving speech during the dinner. Colonel Day spent five years and seven months as a POW in North Vietnam and was a Medal of Honor recipient. On 8 June 2018, Colonel Day was posthumously promoted to Brigadier General. His wife and clubwoman Mrs. Doris Day also spoke at one of the workshops.
Entertainment for the dinner banquet was a USO-style show with “Judy Garland,” “Bob Hope,” the “Andrews Sisters,” and “Ella Fitzgerald” providing musical renditions and jokes.
GFWC Florida club members that were honored served in all the branches of the military. There were three veterans of WWII, as well as others who served in Korea, Vietnam, the Gulf War, Iraq, and Afghanistan in attendance. There was also a “Donut Dolly” present, who went to Vietnam as part of the Red Cross’ Supplemental Recreation Activities Overseas program to boost the morale of the troops.
It was a wonderful weekend which the clubwomen, and those who were honored, will treasure.