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Saturday, Feb. 6, 2016

Efforts of local volunteer honored through O.A.K.S. donation

Friday, November 16, 2012

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SUBMITTED photo Jim Long, Sr., second from left, is shown with his son, Lt. Col. Jim Long (Ret.), and his two military granddaughters, Rachel, who serves in the U.S. Air Force, at left, and Sara, who is in the U.S. Navy.
With the focus on veterans this week, it seemed only appropriate that in the name of one of Dexter's most treasured public servants and a veteran himself, a $1,000 donation has been presented to the O.A.K.S. Senior Center's Meals on Wheels program.

Pete Snider, a lifelong Dexter resident who now resides at the Veterans Home in Cape Girardeau, was one of the most familiar faces at the local Senior Center for many years, having begun his volunteerism to the center shortly after the program got on its feet.

"Pete was one of the most dedicated servants to the center," says longtime friend and fellow veteran Jim Long, Sr., also of Dexter. "There came the time when Pete should have been the one having meals delivered to him, but instead he was still out there making sure everyone who needed a hot noon meal got one."

(Photo)
A grandson, Luke Snider, who is in the Air Force.
Through his role as a volunteer with the Meals on Wheels program, Snider, who was a staff sergeant in the U.S. Army's 508th Parachute Infantry, spent many years faithfully delivering meals to seniors in need in the community -- and always with a smile and a kind word.

Recognizing that dedication and spirit to give back to the community, Long presented the award this week to Senior Center Director Dena Rawson on behalf of his own family of veterans. The Long family is no stranger to the military service.

Jim Long, Sr. currently serves as maintenance supervisor at Bloomfield's State Veterans Cemetery. He is a U.S. Navy veteran himself. His son, Jim Long, Jr., is a Lt. Col. (Ret.) with the U.S. Air Force. Two granddaughters, both the daughters of Jim Jr. and his late wife, Liz, are now career military servicewomen. Following in her grandfather's footsteps, Sara flies Seahawk Helicopters in the U.S. Navy. Her sister, Rachel, is a navigator on B-52 Stratofortress Aircraft with the U.S. Air Force.

A grandson, Luke Snider, is a chemical specialist with the U.S. Air Force and has completed three tours to Iraq working in that capacity. He was also deployed to Japan following the recent tsunami to test for chemicals and radiation exposure.

Recognizing the need for further funding to keep the local Meals on Wheels program up and running, Long posed a challenge this week to other veterans or families of veterans, as well as civic and veterans' organizations.

"I'd like to see others help keep this very vital program for our seniors going through further donations," he said. "They might wish to do so in the name of someone who is dear to them as Pete Snider still is to the Long family."

"This is just a personal way of thanking Pete Snider," said Long, making the donation, "for the many years of volunteerism and service he so willingly gave to his community."


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