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By David Knopf/Richmond News
Their silver helmets not only identify the honor squad, but reflect the pride Ray Countians have for their veterans.
Now thanks to a contribution by a local businessman, veterans in the county will continue to be buried with full military honors without additional expense.
Kevin Rinne, owner of the Medicine Shoppe in Richmond, has pledged to supplement what the local American Legion and VFW posts receive from the national organizations to fund honor squad ceremonies.
“We just decided that was a good thing to do,” said Rinne, a Vietnam-era Air Force veteran who also operates pharmacies in Lexington, Higginsville and Smithville.
Rinne said he started contributing to the cost of honor squad ceremonies in Higginsville, though for much different reasons than in Ray County. Unlike the active veterans organizations in Richmond, the Legion post in Higginsville was struggling to fund operations and Rinne said he wanted to help out.
“The owner lives in Higginsville and supports this there and wanted to do the same thing in Richmond,” said American Legion Commander Mark Foley. “He’s real big on community support and giving respect to our veterans.”