Program to feature Make and Take CARE packages for veterans

The annual Henning School Veteran’s Day program is set for Friday afternoon at 1 p.m. The day will feature a mixture of songs, tributes and a few special wrinkles to honor the sacrifices and contributions made by local veterans from across the region. 

The program is open to the public and will feature K-12 students performing throughout the program. In addition to the songs, veterans will be able to receive a Make and Take CARE package. Veterans will select a few items, each of which are based upon historical military experience.   

  All local veterans and widows/widowers of veterans [or their designated representative if they are physically unable to attend] will be able to select a few treats, while supplies last.  Each food, snack or beverage item has a connection to military heritage. The CARE package options represent both the endurance of past military members, as well as the timeless sacrifice and support provided by the home front.

  For example, chocolate candy Kisses will be one option for veterans to select for their CARE package. The Hershey’s Chocolate Corporation made so many important contributions during World War II, that the chocolate plant received a special flag to fly, every employee was awarded a lapel pin, and the entire company earned five Army-Navy ‘E’ awards for excellence in production. Hershey’s developed a high powered Ration D Type chocolate bar for life raft and shipwreck use in any climate, which was a pre-curser to today’s energy bars.  Hershey’s beverage powder was included in regular Army Field Rations.  For soldiers going to the front lines, a special emergency accessory kit was prepared by the Army and every kit included chocolate bars. Hershey’s chocolate was survival, currency, morale, and nutrition.

  Doughnuts are another food with a strong military story. World War I was infamous for the brutal horrors of trench warfare.  A small group of Salvation Army ladies serving in France were inspired to bring a taste of home to the soldiers facing such difficult conditions. With leftover rations of flour, a soldier’s helmet as a frying pan, a wine bottle as a rolling pin, and hand-cutting with a knife, these ladies started by making 150 doughnuts a day, then 2,500 a day, then 9,000 doughnuts a day.  Their simple idea spread rapidly across Europe as a standard symbol of refreshment and concern for those in harms way. 

  Whether it was one of the many forms of chocolate distributed throughout World War II, granola bars sent from home during the Global War on Terrorism, apple cider rations of the Revolutionary War, or doughnuts served to GI’s during World War I, food has meant a great deal to every veteran.

  Aside from supplementing nutrition and providing for physical survival needs, CARE packages of food, drinks, and treats bring comfort from and connection with people far away.  Smelling and tasting food from home reinvigorate the weary. 

  Just as Thanksgiving is an opportunity to reflect on the many blessings as a whole country, the items in these CARE packages, and Veterans Day itself, are opportunities for everyone to appreciate where they are and remember that every day many American service members are not at home, they are far from comfortable, and they are far from safe.