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April 30. 2014 4:49PM

'Spirit of 45' to visit New Hampshire Veterans Home Thursday

TILTON – The "Spirit of '45 Express," which is currently touring the United States to promote wider observance of the end of World War II, will visit the New Hampshire Veterans Home on Thursday, May 1.

"Keep the Spirit of '45 Alive" is a national nonprofit grassroots campaign to promote the observance of National Spirit of '45 Day, an event whose purpose is to honor the legacy of the World War generation by restoring their spirit of community, can-do attitude, willingness to sacrifice for others, and a sense of national unity.

Its visits are hosted by local chapters of the Military Order of the Purple Heart, Dignity Memorial, and Honor Flight regional hubs.

The Express, an RV piloted by Auston and Bonnie O'Neill, has already traveled more than 12,000 miles since leaving Virginia in February, visiting museums, heritage groups, veterans homes and state capitols to help raise public awareness of Spirit of '45 Day and the events and activities that are being planned around the country to commemorate next year's 70th Anniversary of the end of World War II.

"Keep the Spirit of '45 Alive," a partnership of multiple non-profit groups, put up the money to wrap the O'Neill's motor home with signage and provided them with some initial funding to help them get underway. Photos of Auston's father and parents, and the National WWII Memorial where he performs "Taps" each year on Memorial Day and Spirit of '45 Day, are featured on the side of the vehicle.

The O'Neills and various local organization representatives will visit with the residents of the home around 1:30 p.m. Thursday. Residents will get a chance to view the Express RV, weather permitting, and O'Neill will play "Taps."

Plans are underway to mount several high visibility events and activities during the weekend of Aug. 14-16, 2015, to mark the 70th anniversary of the war's end, broaden and deepen public awareness and participation in Spirit of '45 Day so that it may continue to inspire future generations of Americans.

Enroll for health care at May 5 open house

MANCHESTER — The Manchester VAMC will hold an enrollment open house for health care on Monday, May 5, from 8:30 to 11 a.m. at the VAMC, 718 Smyth Road.

Veterans will receive assistance with enrollment for VA Health Care. A representative from Veterans Benefits Affairs will also be available to help answer any benefit questions.

Free blood pressure screenings will be offered and general health and wellness information will be available.

Bring a DD214 along with a government ID.

For more information, contact contact Stella M. Lareau, public affairs officer, at 624-4366, extension 6779.

Fundraiser in Chester

CHESTER — The American Legion Auxiliary-Chester Unit 108 will hold an electronic recycling fundraiser from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 3, at the corner of Rt. 102, next to Chester Academy and Chester Fire Department.

A recycling company will accept appropriate items from area towns or businesses.

For more information, go to chesterlegion108.webs.com, email chesterlegionaux@gmail.com or call 887-5694.

Post 79 events

MANCHESTER — American Legion Post 79 will hold Karaoke with Jen and a 50/50 drawing on Friday, May 2.

A brunch from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. is on Sunday, may 4. The cost is $7.

Trivia at 7 p.m. with Dr. T. is on Thursday, May 8.

A meat raffle is on Sunday, May 11, at 1 p.m.


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