Veterans paid tribute in Monroe on Saturday to a man who’d dedicated his life to them.
In an afternoon ceremony, VFW Post 5464 was renamed for Garland Denny. The Korean War veteran and Monroe resident worked for a decade, until the day before he died at age 84 in October, to get a U.S. postal stamp approved to benefit veterans with post-traumatic stress.
His son, Chuck Denny of Indian Trail, vowed to complete his father’s mission and said the stamp is close to being approved.
At least 130 members of Congress signed a letter of support for Garland Denny’s proposal.
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All proceeds would go to the Veterans Administration for education, research and treatment of PTSD, “with the emphasis on treatment,” Chuck Denny said.
“So honored to speak about a veteran with a heart for other vets,” U.S. Rep. Robert Pittenger, R-N.C., tweeted from Saturday’s dedication. Post 5464, Pittenger said, was being “newly named for Union County’s great patriot.”
The crowd included a delegation of veterans who rode their motorcycles from opening day of the national Veterans of Foreign Wars convention at the Charlotte Convention Center.
Denny had an air that commanded immediate respect the first day he walked into the post, said Post 5464 Commander Steve Williams. “It was not ‘Garland Denny’ but ‘Mr. Denny,’ ” Williams said of how fellow veterans addressed him.
Williams described Denny, who’d become more frail following heart surgery in recent years, as “a pit bull in a chihuahua’s body.”
Denny wrote letter after letter to members of Congress and numerous others across the country to garner support for the stamp.
Chuck Denny said he finished his father’s 658-page proposal on June 19, Father’s Day.
“That was my Father’s Day gift to him,” Chuck Denny told the Observer. “It was closure for me. He had been working on it for about 10 years.”
Denny submitted the proposal on June 30. A postal service official called two weeks later to say the proposal would be reviewed by the Citizens’ Stamp Advisory Committee in July. The committee, which meets in private, is appointed by the Postmaster General to recommend future stamp issues.
“Dad felt we could bring our nation together by joining hands to support veterans,” Chuck Denny said.
“It’s a real honor” to have helped his dad, Chuck Denny said. “He worked real hard the last years of his life for veterans.”