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T his week, we’re once again announcing in the Townsend Times that Townsend VFW Post 6538’s Santa program is getting underway.

Each year, the VFW and its Ladies Auxiliary invites Townsend families to bring wrapped gifts to the VFW on a designated date. A volunteer Santa will then deliver each gift on Christmas Eve.

It’s hard to imagine the wonder of the faces of these children who actually receive a visit from Santa on Christmas Eve. It’s a magical moment they will not likely forget.

What’s more notable, however, is that a group of volunteers, many of whom do it year after year, give up their own Christmas Eve’s to volunteer for this program.

Volunteers man the VFW Pavilion to receive the gifts, develop routes based on the hundreds of children for whom gifts have been brought, and on Christmas Eve, do everything it takes to get these Santas and their drivers on their way.

It’s a phenomenal and generous program, thanks to Townsend VFW and its volunteers.

This past week, area veterans gathered to observe Veterans Day and to remember the hundreds of thousands of men and women who fought for the nation we enjoy today.

It should be noted that with only a few exceptions, our local veterans, those who so generously volunteer to help our children and families with Voice of Democracy contests and Patriots Pen and so much more, stood alone.

Are we a grateful nation?