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Masonic War Veterans show their thanks on Thanksgiving Day

On Thanksgiving morning, Masonic War Veterans Post 43 visited the VA Hospital in Syracuse to present gift baskets filled with special items of treats and needed items of hats, mittens and hand-knitted or crocheted lap blankets along with socks, gloves, sundries, T-shirts, and more to approximately 130 male and female patients, all who have served our country.

Volunteers gather Thanksgiving morning in the VA Hospital auditorium. Gift baskets in hand by the front row.
Volunteers gather Thanksgiving morning in the VA Hospital auditorium. Gift baskets in hand by the front row.

Additionally the Post presented a fresh fruit bag to each patient, cheerfully delivered while singing Christmas carols, professional clowns in tow, greeting the medical staff as well as the hospitalized veterans on this holiday.

Many volunteers came from area CNY Masonic Lodges on Thanksgiving morning to assist Post 43 in this annual true example of freemasonry at large.

Ages thirteen to eighty plus arrived at 8 a.m. in the light snow to assemble the gift baskets in the VA Hospital auditorium before delivering to the several floors.

Nolan Callahan, 13, helps assemble the gift baskets while taking photos of the day's activities.
Nolan Callahan, 13, helps assemble the gift baskets while taking photos of the day’s activities.

Donations are encouraged each year, all year long to Post 43 so these hospitalized American heroes may be honored on a day where many would not see a visitor otherwise.

For example, this month a very successful Benefit Breakfast Buffet was held at Lake City Masonic Lodge No. 127 in Oswego to help fund this Annual Thanksgiving tradition started decades ago by Post 43. Everyone in the community that attended that breakfast helped to make this event possible.

Often we forget the Holidays can be especially tough if you have lost loved ones, are alone, hospitalized and ill.

These volunteers are a shining example of love and charity put to work, not just words on a greeting card. To all we wish to say “Thank you”.

Leo Monette of Lake City Masonic Lodge No. 127, Oswego, helps fill the baskets.
Leo Monette of Lake City Masonic Lodge No. 127, Oswego, helps fill the baskets.

Freemasonry is the oldest and largest fraternal organization in the world consisting of more than 6,000,000 men from all walks of life.

Charity is a tenet of Free masonry. Across the U.S. Mason’s donate approximately $2 million daily.

To be become a member of the Masonic War Veterans, a man must be active in the Masonic Lodge and have been a veteran with military service.

Anyone meeting the eligibility criteria with interest in becoming a member, or wishing to make a donation, or knowing of a veteran in Oswego or Onondaga County that could benefit from services that Post 43 provides, please contact Commander Carl Hoyt Sr. at (315) 383-2274.

Some of the medical staff at the hospital. Note the one with the orange hair. He's with us.
Some of the medical staff at the hospital. Note the one with the orange hair. He’s with us.