Giving Back – Custom canes for Vets

[May 2019 | San Juan Silver Stage | By Debra Lucek]
Image, Kathryn R. Burke.

Dennis Stevenson (L) and Raymond Kuhn (R)

Dave Kaufmann and his fellow wood artists of Montrose Area Woodturners, the Black Canyon Wood Carvers, and the Woodworker Guild of Western Colorado collaborate to create custom-made, eagle-head canes and commemorative pens to acknowledge and honor area veterans. Each cane is one of a kind and engraved with the recipient’s name, rank, and dates of military service.

The concept started after the Civil War, when many soldiers were returning home maimed and crippled and needed a cane. Over time, the practice was forgotten. It was revived in 2003 by a woodworking a group in Oklahoma. Kauffman, himself a veteran, brought the idea here to Montrose.

To date, 626 canes have been presented to men and women in recognition ceremonies throughout the Western Slope area. Dennis Stevenson and Raymond Kuhn were recently honored at a recognition ceremony at Welcome Home Alliance for Veterans in Montrose. Both men expressed their appreciation. Kuhn, a Vietnam Vet, told of the less-than-warm welcome so many ‘Nam’ vets received upon their return. “You can’t imagine what this means,” he said with emotion.

You can nominate a veteran by contacting Welcome Home Alliance for Veterans 970- 765-2210.  www.whafv.org.