Valley vets enjoy freedom canes

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Valley veterans received a very special gift representing the hard work and courage they've shown throughout their military careers.

The veterans beamed at the sight of the hand-carved bald eagle custom canes at the VA Hospital.

Each cane was personally measured and handed out to each veteran. The heart-felt gesture hit an emotional chord with veterans like Gary Robinson, who served in Vietnam.

Robinson said, "I think it was outstanding some people in the community cared enough to give these, donate, take their time and make these and give them to the veterans. Quite unique piece of wood. I think it's outstanding. I thank them very much for it."

The canes were skillfully made by members of the Central California Woodcarvers and the Sequoia Wood Turners. They've been handing them out now for eight years.

Don Lenz explained, "I looked around for years for how to help people. I've been coming here to the VA since 1975 and I see a lot of people, especially WWII vets and Korean War, even Vietnam vets and now the new kids coming back doing a lot of limping."

The veterans were proud to walk off with a bald eagle in hand.

Korean War veteran John Skinner said, "The eagle means a lot to me. It's our country's symbol of freedom so it means a lot."

Fresno veteran Shawn Hughes added, "It means a lot to me because it represents the United States. All the guys that fought in the war."

The freedom canes will help the veterans stay steady and walk proud.

If you know of a veteran who could use a freedom cane you can contact the Central California Woodworkers.

Visit for more information.

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