By Jeff Helms
The Alabama Farmers Federation and Alfa Insurance joined Secretary of State John Merrill in announcing the Vote in Honor of a Veteran program Sept. 29.
The effort encourages Alabamians to submit stories about a loved one’s service in the military through the form at AlabamaVotes.org.
Voters who share stories will receive stickers and lapel pins courtesy of Alfa and the Federation.
The program will bring greater recognition to over 380,000 Alabama veterans.
“We believe it’s important to bring recognition to those individuals who have made such a significant contribution to our state and to our nation,” Merrill said. “This program would not be possible if not for the support of the Alabama Farmers Federation.”
Federation and Alfa President Jimmy Parnell said he hopes the program will prompt voters to consider the blessings of liberty when voting.
“This program aligns so much with our values and our stance as an organization,” Parnell said. “We are so supportive of the veterans of this state and this nation. I think we owe it to each of these veterans to vote. I think we owe it to these veterans to be an informed voter. They fought so we could vote and have a free nation.
“I appreciate Secretary Merrill for initiating this program, and I hope it will make each of us think a little deeper about what we are doing when we go vote,” he added.
Merrill said several testimonials about veterans already have been posted to the website. One of those was shared by Tamara Cofield about her friend and sorority sister, Iris Hurd-Hunter.
“First of all, I want to thank the State of Alabama for recognizing veterans,” said Hurd-Hunter, who served 24 years in the U.S. Army including deployments in Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. “I just want you all to know we don’t do it for the recognition or for the praise from others. We do it because we have a passion to serve our country.”
Mylinda Jones Brown submitted a testimonial about her father, Sergeant Major Harold Jones, 89, who served 43 years in the Army and National Guard.
“He’s still Army Strong and tough as nails,” Brown said. “It will be a wonderful privilege to cast my vote in honor of a veteran and my personal hero, my father.”
Visit AlabamaVotes.gov to view testimonials or share a tribute about a veteran.