NEW LEXINGTON — The Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2806 Auxiliary presented Americanism awards to two local businesses on June 25. The awards were presented to People’s State Bank and Steven Thompson of Thompson Insurance for their commitment in supporting current military members and veterans.
Connie Walker was named the Chair of Americanism for the VFW Post 2806 last year. Her goal as the chairman is to recognize those who support, recognize and celebrate the men and women who have given the ultimate sacrifice in the name of freedom. This is the first year that the VFW Post has given out the awards.
“I am finding out that part of my job duties is to recognize local businesses that have done things that are kind of above and beyond supporting veterans,” Walker said.
The two local business entities that were recognized was the staff at Peoples State Bank and Steven Thompson of Thompson Insurance Agency. These two entities showed prime examples of patriotism and americanism, according to Walker. The general definition of Americanism is the unfailing love of one's country. It also includes loyalty to American institutions and ideals, eagerness to defend against all enemies, undivided allegiance to the flag and a desire to secure the blessings of liberty to the United States and its prosperity.
“One of the things about being a community institution is that we take great pride in the community we serve,” President and CEO of Peoples State Bank Tony Davis told The Perry County Tribune. “Not only those individuals now but those individuals who served our community and country.”
One of the requirements for the award is that the business or individual must display an American flag in some way. Both entities have flags that are displayed at the front of each of the two businesses.
“Peoples State Bank and Thompson Insurance have always been two of the businesses in town that have been very community-oriented and also very oriented towards our military,” Walker added.
Peoples State Bank has done a lot in the name of veterans and current service members. The staff at the bank have created displays that give recognition to those who are currently serving in the military and former veterans. The display is a tree that is decorated with ornaments and pictures of service members. Peoples State Bank also had a mailbox set up in the lobby with a list of people throughout the county who are currently serving. Those who participated would send postcards or letters to a service member. The bank staff would then make sure that the service members would get the letters and postcards.
Marty Epifano was instrumental in setting up the display at the bank. Many of the employees have family that have served in the past as well as currently serving. They also have clients come into the bank that also have military family. Epifano set up the display in order to recognize those who are serving and have served in the past.
“We just have a lot of individuals in here who either had a brother, sister, aunt, uncle or somebody that served and they have touched our lives at some point in serving our country,” Davis said.
“I just felt that Peoples State Bank deserved recognition,” Walker said.
In addition to having a display and a mailbox, the staff at People’s State Bank do other things for veterans in the community. The weekend before the New Lexington Fourth of July parade, members of the bank took time to do yard work at the veterans monument on North Main Street. The bank also had a float in the parade last Thursday.
Thompson at Thompson Insurance Agency was the other recipient of the Americanism Award. He and his business have presented a flag at the front of the business for many years now and has put up displays recognizing veterans for patriotic holidays. Thompson stated that he and his business has helped hundreds of clients who had military backgrounds. Walker used to work for Thompson and has always known about his undying patriotism.
“It's nice to know that the people who have served have seen this,” Walker said. “And they are touched that people appreciate what they gave.”
“Thank you to our local post at the VFW and I am very humbled with this award,” Thompson said. “We always try to fly the flag here and support the VFW, the American Legion and all of our past military.”
The award recipients were given gifts as a salute to their support of veterans. Thompson received a brand new flag and a travel mug for when he is out on the road. Peoples State Bank received a certificate, a plaque and a flag as well. Recipients will always receive a flag as part of the award.