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VFW 8850 honor guard to receive DAR award

They are the people who stand at attention at the graves of fallen soldiers, offering that final salute. They make countless appearances at area patriotic observances. Now, they are being honored for their service.

The Ashland, Ky.,-based Poage Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution will give a community service award to the Veterans of Foreign Wars 8850 of Ironton at its annual community service awards program Sunday at First United Methodist Church of Catlettsburg, Ky.

The honor for the local VFW is a break with tradition: This is the first time the DAR has given an award to a group. But Poage Chapter Regent Madeline Smith said the Ironton group deserved the honor.

“For one thing, I know how hard they work. They’ve had as many as three funerals in one day and I don’t know how they do it. It doesn’t happen very often but they have before had three funerals in one day,” Smith said.

“Not only this, they go to ball fields and high schools and there are just numerous things they participate in. And these are older men who give and give. They’re so worthy,” Bruce Dixon, who heads up the honor guard for the VFW said the honor guard attended 118 funerals alone last year, not only in Lawrence County but throughout the area.

This does not include participation in such activities as the Ironton-Lawrence County Memorial Day Parade, Woodland Cemetery Service, various flag-raising ceremonies and other community events.

Dixon said he was pleased with the award.

The DAR will also give a community service award to Ashlander Marcia Eastwood, who volunteers at the King’s Daughters Medical Center Hospitality House, is treasurer of the hospital auxiliary and recycles aluminum cans to raise money to pay for the spaying and neutering of cats.

So far 88 cats have been spayed or neutered because of Eastwood’s generosity.

The community service awards program is at 2:30 p.m. Sunday. It is open to the public. The church is located on Louisa Street near the Boyd County Courthouse.