Marco’s DAR chapter renews its efforts to honor military veterans

Chris Curle
Special to the Eagle
Quilts of Honor awarded two Marco Island Vietnam veterans red, white and blue patterned quilts.  From left: Karen Schmidt, Gil Schmidt, DAR Patriot Project leader Arlene Pulner, Rich Wright, Theresa Wright

The Marco Island chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR) opened its 2021-22 season Dec. 19 at the Marco Island Yacht Club. It was a welcome in-person gathering after a year of virtual meetings.

Guest speaker Arlene Pulner, Chair of the DAR Patriot Project for the state of Florida, described some of the ways local chapters support veterans and active-duty service members and their families. One effort is Quilts of Honor, whose mission is to give the token of thanks and remembrance to those who served in harm’s way in defense of our lives and freedoms. Volunteers make the patriotic quilts by hand.

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Pulmer and other DAR members arranged a quilt presentation for two surprised recipients Marco Island in January.

“We presented quilts to two deserving Vietnam veterans along with DAR certificates of appreciation for their service,” Pulmer recalled.  “Rich Wright had requested a quilt for his friend Gil Schmidt. But, when I learned that Rich had never received one himself, we made it a double ceremony!”

Marco Island's DAR chapter swears-in its new officers. (LtoR) Ysabel Garland, Ellen Camm, Peggy Eckhold, Pat Hancock, Janet Brooks, Lu Schieferdecker, Susan Smith, Debbie Haeussler, Lorna Harris

 Schmidt said it was a nice surprise. “It’s precious. I’ll put it in a box frame and display it with my Navy gear and other memorabilia.”

Another DAR sponsored event to honor veterans is the upcoming Wreaths Across America ceremony.

Marco’s DAR welcomes you to join the observance on Saturday, December 18, 2021.  The Marco Island DAR, along with the Veterans of Marco Island and the New Life Community Church, will lead a ceremony at the Marco Island Cemetery at noon.

This year, the agenda includes a Lely JROTC Color Guard presentation, an Honor Guard from the Marco Island American Legion Post and a flyover by the Civil Air Patrol.

Approximately 160 military veterans are buried at Marco Island Cemetery, going back to the Civil War.

The purpose of the nationwide annual event is to remember our fallen U.S. veterans, to honor all those who serve and to teach our children the value of freedom.

After the ceremony, participants, volunteers and spectators will place a wreath on each veteran’s grave.  To sponsor a $15 wreath for an American hero, or to learn more, visit wreathsacrossamerica.org/pages/159754/Overview/?relatedId=159720.

DAR member Lorna Harris places wreaths at veterans’ graves at Wreaths Across America, Marco Island Cemetery, Dec. 19,

You may sponsor a wreath through the Marco Island DAR chapter at the following address: Janet Brooks, DAR Treasurer, 1401 Galleon Avenue, Marco Island, FL  34145-4679. For more information, contact Ellen Camm at 317-372-1174 or Pat Hancock at 319-530-5006.

DAR is a service organization with 180,000 members in three-thousand chapters worldwide. Members are women eighteen years or older, regardless of race, religion or ethnic background, who can prove lineal descent from a patriot in the American Revolution.

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Monthly DAR meetings are at 10:30 a.m. on the third Thursday or Friday of each month, followed by lunch. Members also meet casually between meetings, just for friendship and fun. The chapter has 74 members and welcomes visitors from other chapters. Please contact Ellen Camm, ellencammg@gmail.com, 317-372-1174.