Spouses club thanks veterans

Cannon Connections: Liliana Castillo Cannon spouse Michelle Patterson, 29, stuffs a small stocking with candy canes for the Single Airmen’s Dinner with her 11-month old son Devawn in her arms during the meeting.

Liliana Castillo

At first glance, the Cannon Spouses Club gave veterans in nursing homes crossword puzzles and toiletries for the holidays.

But what they really gave them is the recognition and thanks they deserve.

Spouse Melisa Haskell, who helped stuff the Christmas bags for the veterans at her first meeting on Dec. 14, said she was glad to give veterans something for the holidays.

“It’s wicked awesome that we’re doing something for people who have served in the past,” the 34-year-old said. “Sometimes they’re easily forgotten.”

Spouse Lacey Wehrly said she attended her first meeting Dec. 14 to get involved with people.

“And be a part of the community,” she said. “It’s a lot of fun and it’s a great service.”

Cannon Spouses Club President Apryl Nenortas said the group stuffed 36 bags at the Dec. 14 meeting.

The group delivered the bags to veterans living in local nursing homes St. Anthony Healthcare and Rehab, Clovis Healthcare and Retirement Ranch.

The group has given veterans presents during the holiday for the past three years. Last year, the group decorated small foot-tall Christmas trees for each veteran and Nenortas hopes to do that every other year.

Nenortas said the group participates in several philanthropic projects in the communities surrounding Cannon Air Force Base.

“We wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the veterans. It’s important to stay in touch with where the military spouse has been to know where we’re going,” she said.

The Cannon Spouses Club helps with the Single Airmen’s Dinner, Airmen’s Attic and gives birthday cards to the Portales Children’s Home each month, among other projects.

“This is part of being a military spouse,” she said. “We’re rarely at home so it’s important to be involved with the community.”