National veteran appreciation movement stems from a Sheffield woman’s efforts

Excepts from the letters David Rusinack received, that are now on display at the Sheffield Public Library.

Sheffield native Nicki Rusinack has a very personal passion for the recognition of veterans and the importance of the sacrifices they endure for our nation. Her father, David Rusinack, is a Vietnam war veteran and the originating spark of Nicki’s endeavors that have created shockwaves far beyond Iowa’s borders.

Rusinack, currently living in Washington, D.C., participates in a yearly military triathlon each fall. She picks a different non-profit organization each year to raise money for veterans. In 2016, the organization was “Freedom Service Dogs,” and this past year was “Operation Gratitude.”

She raised over $2,000 alone this year, and Operation Gratitude was deeply thankful. To demonstrate their appreciation, they asked Rusinack if she knew of a veteran that would like to receive handmade cards thanking them of their service.

Rusinack immediately knew her answer. Her father, halfway across the nation in Sheffield, would love to receive those letters.

Almost 60 letters flurried in from far and wide. Some were written in the comical, honest language of children, while others were sincere declarations of sentiment from adults. No matter the age of the writer, the letters have stricken a chord within the Rusinack family, and they’re seeking to share the feeling with the community.

Read the full story in the February 1 edtion.