A half–century old tradition continued Thursday in Iron Mountain.

The Oscar G. Johnson Veteran Medical Center held it’s annual Veterans Carnival.  The hospital lawn was transformed into a carnival of fun for Community Living Center residents.  Games, food, prizes and live entertainment were all on the menu.

The vets showed that they “still got game,” as they shot some hoops and tried their luck with spinning the dice.

“Just to show them they are appreciated, that their service isn’t going to to unrecognized, it’s going to be recognized. We try to make the veterans feel that they are appreciated all the time,” Purple Heart of Michigan veteran volunteer Dale Lapalme said.

“The war I was in was over 70 years ago and for people to still remember us, it feels good to see all these smiling faces around here,” WWII veteran Glenn Johnson said.

Included in the activities was a bit of pet therapy and summertime’s number one treat.

Everyone involved said the field day is a fun way to remember and celebrate one another.

“To make it very much a part of community and social, just an enjoyable day. It’s a great way to divert them from pain, the different problems they may be feeling. To bring some happiness. We all know that if you are happy in doing things you enjoy, you feel better and you heel better,” VA Medical Center recreational therapist Janet Bauer-Green said.

Several volunteer organizations contributed their time, efforts and smiles to carnival:

  • American Legion and Auxiliary of WI
  • American Legion and Auxiliary of MI
  • Sons of the American Legion
  • Disabled American Veterans
  • Marine Corps League
  • Military Order of the Purple Heart and Auxiliary
  • Military Order of the Cooties and Auxiliary (WI)
  • Polish League of American Veterans and Auxiliary
  • Veterans of Foreign Wars and Auxiliary of WI
  • Veterans of Foreign Wars and Auxilary of MI