The Women Behind Our Soldiers

There is a group at every American Legion post that calls themselves the Auxiliary.

They are the wives, daughters and sisters of our soldiers.

According to them they are the ones who keep the whole place running.

Nancy McKee, Teri Lynch and Kay Johnson have all been Auxiliary members for over 10 years.

Members of the Auxiliary spend a lot of time organizing fundraisers for veterans and the community.

They are the support system for local soldiers and their families.

McKee, the acting Auxiliary president at the American Legion Post 34 in Pasco, said they also call on one another if anyone needs something.

"We're sisters, that's what it feels like," McKee said. "If someone has a problem like a family issue we want to help as much as we can."

Lynch comes from a family of soldiers, her husband is a veteran and her son just finished serving his second tour in Afghanistan.

She said she couldn't be more proud of her family, but being a military wife and mother isn't easy and it is important they stick together.

"The hardest part is the reality that you might not be the lucky one that sees them come home, you might not be that fortunate, and for us to help those that are in that situation and be there as a support," said Lynch.

Johnson's husband, an Army veteran, died in 2004 and she has continued to be an active Auxiliary member.

She said there is no way she could have handled her husband's cancer diagnosis without their support.

"I came home from the hospital one day and here's five legionnaires putting in a wheelchair ramp for me," said Johnson.

Mckee said in high school she first started to see the importance of our soldiers.

"I remember at noon time the girls that had home ec. would going to the rooms and we would write letters to the soldiers In Vietnam, and that really touched the spot in my heart," McKee said. "It instilled in me that we need to thank these guys."

Thanking these guys is exactly what McKee and the other members of the Auxiliary do.

Whether it be a fundraising event, homecoming or memorial these women are the brains and power behind the operations, and they say there is no place they would rather be.

"It's a wonderful family to belong to and very satisfying to do things to pay it forward," said Lynch.

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