A peer discussion class at ProAct in Hudson, Wis. touched on the subject of freedom, America and the veterans who work to keep the country safe.

Direct service professional (DSP) Rachelle Dettman started a conversation about the different things that people in other countries don’t have access to, explains Case Coordinator LeeAnn Mergens. “Because governments don’t allow people to have the freedoms we have, some people aren’t allowed to drive and some can’t go to school,” she said.

Women in some other countries can’t wear certain clothes and can’t listen to some types of music. Some participants were unaware of this. “They just assumed that everybody lived like we did.”

Speaking of Memorial Day in general terms that people can understand, the group was better able to grasp the significance of the holiday as they talked about soldiers’ sacrifices and service for the country’s freedoms.

Lauri Flatley, mother of DSP Kelly Flatley, visits the Minneapolis VA Medical Center and places flags on graves at Fort Snelling National Cemetery. She asked if participants would be interested in decorating some flags.

Individuals made cards and more for people at the VA. Flags were hand painted on egg cartons, brimming with color and shining with glitter. The activities were part of the site’s “Kindness Club” Monday card group.

“We’re sending out cards all the time now,” said Mergens. “We want other people to know that we’re thinking about them and caring about them.”

She said the United States is the greatest country, and that’s why many people want to come here. “You can live free here and can’t do that in (some) other countries.”