The officers of the West Liberty Police Department (WLPD) have a special place in their hearts for honoring those who have served in the armed forces. With five of the department’s six full time officers also military veterans, the group always looks for ways to honor others who have served. This summer the WLPD created a limited-edition patch they will sell to benefit several organizations that support our nation’s veterans.
After their wildly popular Autism awareness patch fundraiser this spring, the WLPD felt that the time had finally come for them to do a fundraiser for veterans. Kary Kinmonth, WLPD Chief of Police elaborated, “We had been thinking of doing this for a few years. I have never seen anything similar to what we are doing.”
To start out, the WLPD came up with several designs for their patches, and then chose the one they felt best displayed the messages they wanted to get across. Kinmonth explained, “We had some ideas. The final result was after about six revisions. We wanted to touch on several things. It has purple on it for purple heart recipients, a yellow ribbon for those deployed, a gold star for gold star families, the soldier’s cross, each branch of the services are represented, [and] a POW MIA flag.”
With the final version of their patch ready for production, the WLPD officers then decided on what organizations they would like to donate the proceeds of the patch sales to. Ultimately, they decided on two groups, the Patriot Guard Riders and Puppy Jake. The Patriot Guard Riders provide motorcycle escorts at the funerals of fallen veterans for all branches of the armed services. Puppy Jake trains and provides service dogs to veterans who could benefit from one.
With everything in place, the WLPD has ordered their newest patches and now has them available to the public. Anyone interested in buying patches to support these two meaningful causes can purchase them in person by visiting West Liberty City Hall, or by sending a self-addressed stamped envelope to WLPD – Patch, 409 N Calhoun Street. West Liberty, IA. 52776. Patches cost $20 a piece.
The WLPD feels pleased to have the opportunity to honor veterans through their latest patch fundraiser and hopes that the community will fully get behind it too, to support the veterans in their lives. For Kinmonth, the opportunity to commemorate his service and to honor other veterans in his family has made creating this fundraiser especially meaningful. He shared, “It is awesome. I am a US Air Force Veteran myself [from] 1986-1990. My Father served during the Korean War in the Navy and I have many cousins and friends that have served. I have a lot of respect for anyone that puts on the uniform.”
A caring department, the WLPD works hard to support all of its community. Their new veterans patch project gives the community one more way to partner with the department to make a real difference in West Liberty and beyond.