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G.I. Forum continues Christmas tradition

Vincent Marshall
Dodge City Daily Globe
Mike Wagner, Janae Martinez, Ron Hewes, Mary Ortiz, Sofia Mondragon, Alan Burkhart, David Grasser presenting gift certificates to Rosely Garcia, and Commander Frank Asebedo.

For Christmas, The American G.I. Forum in Dodge City continued an honored tradition in making a donation to veterans at the Kansas Soldier's Home at Fort Dodge.

A U.S. congressionally chartered Hispanic veterans and civil rights organization founded in 1948, The American G.I. Forum has chapters throughout the United States including one in Dodge City.

“In 2005, the general membership voted to give gift certificates to veterans living in Lincoln Hall at Fort Dodge,” G.I. Forum commander Frank Asebedo said. “They authorized the officers to organize the effort. The program has continued each year since then.”

According to G.I. Forum, the organization focuses on veterans' issues, education, and civil rights.

Among its programs, the forum gives gifts to Fort Dodge each Christmas.

Gift giving is made possible through fundraising efforts with local support from local individuals and organizations.

“We rely on the support of the members and auxiliary members to make this program a success,” Asebedo said. “Bar Manager Henry Sanchez does a great job in coordinating the efforts.”

The GI Forum auxiliary provides assistance to the effort.

“On behalf of the Fort Dodge Staff and residents, I want to thank Commander Frank Asebedo, Henry Sanchez, members of the GI Forum, and members of the GI Forum Auxiliary for making this a great Christmas for Lincoln Hall residents,” Fort Dodge activity supervisor Rosely Garcia said. “Everyone at Ft Dodge worried the Coronavirus pandemic would curtail gift-giving this year.

"But in spite of the pandemic, this has been the best of the six years that I’ve been activity supervisor. Everyone at Fort Dodge really appreciates people’s generosity.”

To contact the writer email vmarshall@dodgeglobe.com