NEW HAVEN, CONN. (April 20, 2016)–Sometimes giving a veteran a small gift, especially a Buddy Poppy, can foster cooperation between two prominent national veteran organizations at the grassroots level.
This is what happened when the Veterans of Foreign Wars Department of Connecticut Student Veterans Liaison Charles M. Pickett stopped by the weekly meeting of Southern Connecticut State University Veterans Association in April 2016.
In an ongoing effort to increase the level of cooperation between student veteran groups and conduct outreach to student veterans on college campuses, Pickett addressed the group and conducted a Buddy Poppy distribution–explaining the importance of veteran service organizations to the students and the significance of the Buddy Poppy as an official memorial flower.
Pickett said, “I asked the SCSU Veterans Association president if I could address the meeting. I had some Buddy Poppies in my bag and handed them out while I was starting my presentation. Instead of a speech, my presentation focused on how the VFW is a natural extension of their college group and the value of belonging to a veterans service organization. I also got to explain the history of the Buddy Poppy and how student veterans, including the ones in the room, have joined the long line of proud American veterans that came before them.”
Pickett also explained how veterans can feel adrift in a sea of civilians and how organizations such as the American Legion, the VFW and SVA can help them find allies, resources, and broaden their networks–especially as they look for internships and jobs.