WEST LIBERTY, Iowa (KCRG) - Starting Tuesday, the West Liberty Police Department will be selling military appreciation patches. The money will go towards the Puppy Jake Foundation, which helps veterans get service dogs, and the Patriot Guard Riders, who honor veterans at funerals.
The patches represent all of the military branches. There's a purple outline to honor Purple Heart recipients, a soldier's cross to pay tribute to those who died in battle. The patch also honors Gold Star families, Prisoners of War, and active military members.
The West Liberty Police Department ordered more than 300 of these patches for sale. They cost $20.00 each.
Police Chief Kary Kinmonth said five out of his six officers are veterans, so these patches mean a lot to them.
"If you love your country, if you support veterans, don't put lip service to it,” Chief Kinmonth said. “Put a few dollars behind it."
The police department will officially unveil the patches Thursday during a veteran’s memorial dedication at the Muscatine County Fair. The chief will also swear in Keyan Brown as a reserve officer that day. He's a wounded combat veteran, who says his service dog helps him cope with his PTSD.
"Service dogs, I think, are very vital,” said Brown. “She's woken me up from nightmares she has helped me out when I've had bad flashbacks or memories come up. I think it can benefit every veteran who still struggles with that daily."
The police department has sold patches before to raise money for autism awareness and for breast cancer research.
People who want to buy the patches can stop by the West Liberty Police Department, or mail a check to 409 N Calhoun St in West Liberty.