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VFW hosts annual tribute paying homage to veterans

Christopher Cannon will perform at the West Fargo VFW on Saturday. Submitted photo

The tradition continues with the West Fargo VFW Post 7564, Ladies Auxiliary, and AMVETS Post 8 hosting their annual Veterans Day program Friday, Nov. 11, as a way of paying tribute to all the area military veterans.

The day set aside to do just that will be filled with a variety of activities beginning with a flag raising ceremony at 11 a.m. in front of the post at 308 Sheyenne St., followed by a program inside in the upper level of the club.

The West Fargo High School Band, directed by Sue Jordahl, will provide the music, and a quintet from the West Fargo High School Choir will provide vocal selections. The program will conclude with a 21-gun salute by the VFW Honor Guard.

Guest speaker will be Paula Conard, Veterans Service Center Manager of the Fargo VA Regional Office. Prior to joining the Fargo VA in 2006, Conard held positions in St. Paul, Minn. St. Petersburg, Fla., Milwaukee, Wis. regional offices.

Her message will focus on issues affecting veterans with the Veterans Benefit Administration and some of the recent regulatory changes.

Following the program a stew dinner will be served at the VFW from 4 to 6 p.m., followed by a patriotic concert performed at 7 p.m., by the Red River Valley Veteran's Concert Band, an all-volunteer band group totally supported by contributions, with the West Fargo VFW a community sponsor. Both the stew and music performance are free.

The morning program is open to all ages, but once the program is over, the activities will be for those age 21 and older only.

Doors at the West Fargo VFW will open at 10 a.m. and remain open until 1 a.m.

Harwood American Legion Activities

The Harwood American Legion will also be observing Veterans Day with complimentary mulligan stew served from noon to 5 p.m. There will also be happy hour beverage prices from noon until 6 p.m.

Friday evening will feature Karaoke starting at 8:30 p.m. and Cosmic Bingo at 9 p.m.

Located at 101 Benefit Lane, the Legion will be open from noon to 1 a.m.

Comics for Courage benefit Veteran Project

Also Veterans Day related but scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 12 at the West Fargo VFW, is the 2nd Annual Comics for Courage Laff-A-Thon benefiting the Wounded Warrior Project with show time at 8 p.m. Performers for the evening include Jamestown native Christopher Cannon from Comedy Central and Improv Comedy from the Linebenders.

The Wounded Warrior Project, formed in 2002, is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to "honor and empower wounded warriors" of the U.S. Armed Forces. The project works to raise awareness and enlist the public's aid for the needs of severely injured service men and women, to help severely injured service members aid and assist each other, and to provide unique, direct programs and services to meet their needs.

A 1980 graduate of Jamestown, N.D High School, Cannon served in the Army from 1983 to 1987. After getting back into civilian life he decided he wanted to do something to raise awareness about wounded veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. Toward that end, Cannon, a professional comedian for over 20 years, has devoted himself to Comics for Courage, which was created in 2006 to bring awareness to the struggle of wounded service members.

For the 2011 appearance in West Fargo, Comics for Courage will be teaming up with the Tri-College ROTC from North Dakota State University, Concordia, and Minnesota State University Moorhead.

Billed as the 10K of comedy, Comics for Courage is set up similar to a 10K road race, except "Laffers" register instead of runners. Participants purchase tickets for the event and collect donations from friends, family and co-workers towards the Wounded Warrior Project.

The comedy tour provides a way for veterans and the public to have a laugh and help fund care-package backpacks that the Wounded Warriors Project provides. It's also an opportunity for younger veterans to get involved in organizations such as the VFW.

Regular admission tickets will be available at the door for $12. Those with a student ID will be charged $10. Tickets are also available online at