Boomers & Beyond: Carving & turning support for our vets
Wood turners and wood carvers in our area joined together for a project that spreads the Spirit of Christmas all year long to honor and thank veterans. Buck Taylor, the Eagle Cane Project coordinator said the original project got its start a very long time ago.
The Eagle Cane Project actually started during the Civil War," said Taylor. "The homecoming veterans mostly that were wounded in the leg or lower body, their neighbors would carve an eagle head and put on a cane for them to help them. In 2008, our club found out about it from the American Association of Wood Turners Magazine and our president, Keith (Kollasch) brought it to the attention of the club and asked the club if they wanted to participate. We then went to the carvers club and asked them if they would be willing to carve the heads for this project.”
As word spread and canes were given out, donations of wood, cane tips and other supplies came their way. The canes, truly a work of art by the turners and carvers, are received by nominations or requests.
“If they served our country and they want a cane, we’ll try and get them one. So, that’s the way it is. We don’t question if they were disabled. We do question if they have a Purple Heart. If they received a Purple Heart, then this transition ring in here will be of Purple Heartwood which is imported from South America,” said Taylor.
Both clubs are always looking for more members and not just men.
Fred, outgoing president and incoming president, Keith, for a second time, are dedicated to the project.
“It’s very heart-warming to help and thank and honor the vets that have served the country,” Kollasch said.
Recently, three local, deserving veterans, Bob Rucker, David Olson and Doral Chavez all received canes at a small ceremony in Grand Junction.
“This is a special honor," Olson said, holding back tears. "I think this is the first time I’ve been really recognized since I’ve been home since the war.”
We don’t know what 2013 is going to bring. Well, we do know one thing for sure: This group will be turning it into a good year for our veterans.
To donate to the project or to join the groups, go to http://www.grandvalleywoodturners.com or contact Buck at 245-8817.
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