Mineral County veterans were represented in Washington, D.C. when VFW National Commander John Stroud represented the national organization at the Veterans Day ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall.

Stroud, along with his wife Mary, still call Hawthorne their home, but are currently on a mission to bring the needs of veterans to the forefront.

His message was simple, “The VFW exists to support veterans, the troops and their families at home and abroad, and that the organization will work diligently with the new 114th Congress to eliminate sequestration. Now is not the time to force the Pentagon to reduce its spending by a trillion dollars. Not with the military still fighting a war in Afghanistan, against a new enemy in the Middle East. And not the ongoing shift in defense commitments to Asia and worldwide humanitarian missions that only America’s military is capable of providing upon demand. Congress created the sequester and only Congress can end it, and the VFW will do its part to ensure that happens.”

The veteran was on hand to place a wreath at Arlington National Cemetery and at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall. Both he and his wife have been advocates for the American soldier, visiting them in their hospital beds, helping them earn the benefits they rightfully deserve or by simply giving a handshake during a parade.

Stroud, a U.S. Air Force veteran, is a member of John Franklin Shain Post 2313 in Hawthorne.