Outside of groups such as the American Legion, VFW, and Ladies Auxiliary, few local organizations honor veterans better than the Waconia Lions Club.

A couple of years ago, the Lions conducted its World War II initiative, which provided dozens of area veterans with a free trip to Washington D.C. For many participants, the trip became one of the most memorable experiences of their lives.

Fast forward to 2013. The Lions are at it again, this time honoring veterans by sponsoring the Waconia Veterans Appreciation Weekend to be held July 12-14.

One big draw of the weekend will be a trio of games played by the national Wounded Warriors Amputee Softball Team. This men’s softball team features players who have sustained severe injuries resulting in amputation while serving in the military, and through extensive rehabilitation, have returned to competitive athletics.

The Wounded Warriors will play a celebrity game — tentatively featuring the likes of sports anchor Joe Schmit and radio personality John Hines — on Friday night and two local teams (TBD) on Saturday. All three games will be played at Brook Peterson Park.

After the second game on Saturday, a veterans parade starting at Bayview Elementary School will be held, ending at the grandstand at the Carver County Fairgrounds.

To read the rest of the story, see the Dec. 27, 2012 Waconia Patriot.

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