Events in May to honor active military members and veterans | Strand Notebook

Three groups are having events in May that help them to honor active military members and veterans.

The Shore Birds, a local part of the national nonprofit Quilts of Valor, will be presenting several quilts of valor to veterans on May 13 at 11:30 a.m. The presentations will be at the Veteran’s Café and Grille, which is also a mini military museum located in Northgate Shopping Center near the intersection of U.S. 17 Bypass and Socastee Boulevard.

Joan Wobbleton is coordinator of the Myrtle Beach Shore Birds, which has 148 quilters, including some snowbirds, and covers Horry County, parts of Georgetown County and some adjoining locations in North Carolina. The group is also presenting a gift to Lou Mascherino, a Vietnam veteran, and Rhonda Mascherino, the owners of the Veterans Café and Grille who recently raised $6,000 to help the Myrtle Beach Shore Birds continue giving quilts of valor to veterans.

Since 2010, the group has awarded 740 quilts locally. Wobbleton said that the South Carolina Quilts of Valor group is the largest in awarding these quilts to veterans.

The Blue Star Mothers of Coastal Carolina and the Blue Star Mothers of the Grand Strand invite the public, especially military members, supporters, their families or anyone thinking of joining the military to attend a Military Family Event on May 15 at 2 p.m. at the Myrtle Beach Moose Lodge at 479 Burcale Road.

Several different veterans groups and other organizations, such as the Red Cross and the Blue Star Mothers, will have exhibits there, and military recruiters will be present to provide information. The guest speaker will be Mark Kruea, public information officer for the city of Myrtle Beach.

The American Legion Auxiliary, the largest women’s patriotic service organization in the world, continues to welcome new members. The organization’s goal is to have a million members by its 100th anniversary in 2019. Any woman who is a family member of a veteran who served at least one day of honorable service during a congressionally determined war era, including the long period from Aug. 2, 1990 until today, or is related to an active military member, can join the auxiliary at any American Legion Post.

May is Poppy Month, and the auxiliary members at American Legion Post 178 in Murrells Inlet will be out collecting donations for poppies. Judy Hennis, president of that auxiliary, said they have poppies that were made by disabled veterans who received a stipend to make them. All money collected will be donated directly to help a veteran and his family. It cannot and will not go to any veteran’s organization.

Members with the poppies will be at Hamricks in Garden City on Thursdays and at Krogers on Sundays.

According to information provided by the auxiliary, the poppy was made the official memorial flower of the American Legion in 1920 and the American Legion Auxiliary in 1921. The national American Legion poppy program began in 1924. The poppy was made popular by Georgia schoolteacher, Moina Michael, who was caught overseas during World War 1 and later reacted to Col. John McCrea’s poem “In Flanders Field” by always wearing a poppy. She lived an “amazing life that exemplified the American Legion motto of Service not Self.”

Peggy Mishoe, pegmish@sccoast.net, 365-3885.