Community among best at supporting U.S. veterans

Published 2:25 am Saturday, November 10, 2018

Local veterans agree that this community is one of the top places in the nation in terms of showing appreciation towards veterans.

Covington County’s Veterans Service Officer Brian Foshee said that he did not notice all that his hometown did until after he came back from the military.

“Covington County does a fantastic job,” Foshee said. “It wasn’t until I came back that I noticed everything that they do. I became the Veterans Service Officer in February 2015 and from the get-go I knew that they were doing a lot.”

Foshee said that John Vick does a lot for the veterans in Covington County, and veteran Bill Blocker agreed.

“John organized a big World War II museum tour for a bunch of veterans,” Foshee said. “He is outstanding with showing appreciation for the veterans in the county.”

Blocker added, “John Vick is really active with the veterans. Brian Foshee also does a great job as the Veterans Service Officer by helping so many veterans in the county.”

Blocker said that he would rank Covington County in the top of the nation in how they show appreciation towards veterans.

“The community does so much to honor veterans, not only on Veterans Day,” Blocker said. “They give a lot of financial support to different groups that help veterans.”

There are several programs during the week of Veterans Day to show support for veterans.

“I was actually at a program speaking today [Friday,]” Foshee said. “All of the schools do a great job of honoring the vets that have served.”

Blocker added that he was at Shaw Industries for a veterans’ program on Friday as well.

“All of the employees showed their support for vets at this program,” Blocker said. “All of the schools hold programs and the parade in the city are some other things that Covington County does that really shows they care.”

Blocker is also heavily involved with the Covington County Region Honor Flight. CRHF is one of only two hubs in Alabama that still flies veterans to Washington, D.C. The trip is free for veterans.

“The Honor Flight is one huge way that the community shows that they still support veterans,” Blocker said. “I am quite amazed at the support by all of the people in Covington County.”

Blocker and veteran Sarah Bowman, who was a guardian for two Vietnam veterans on the most recent honor flight, agreed that the best part of Honor Flight is when the veterans are welcomed at the airport.

“Getting off at Reagan National Airport in D.C. is the best feeling,” Blocker said. “People are lined up, saluting and clapping for these veterans. It will make the hair on the back of your neck stand up.”

Bowman, who was in the Navy for four years, decided to be a guardian for Honor Flight because of her military connection.

“It was such a humbling experience to meet these men and women that also sacrificed a lot for our country, ” she said.

All three veterans agreed that Veterans Day is important to them.

“Just the fact that people take the time out of their day to recognize the people that fought for their freedom is amazing,” Blocker said. “These veterans signed a blank check to the U.S. and said, ‘I’m willing to do whatever it takes to protect my country.’”

Bowman added, “I think it is a great way to pay respect to people that sacrificed everything for their country.”

The annual Covington County Veterans Day parade is set for 9 a.m. Monday, Nov. 12, in Andalusia.

U.S. Marine Corps Major (Ret.) Christopher Lawson, a Pleasant Home graduate, will be the guest speaker at this year’s Veterans Day program, set for Mon., Nov. 12, immediately following the parade. After the program, veterans will be honored in a reception.