Paul Sanford figured it was time to say thank you to some veterans — especially long-time members of the Wayne G. Austin American Legion Post No. 2 of Newton. 

"We have eighteen members who have been Legion members for between 50 and 71 years," said Sanford, post commander. "They have never been recognized."

Oen member has 71 years continuous years, with two or three in the 60-year range. Each will receive a certificate and pin during recognition. 

The post will host a Veterans Appreciation Day dinner to honor members with more than 50 continuous years of membership, and thank volunteers, at 6 p.m. Sept. 11 at the post, 400 S. Spencer Road. 

Veterans and their families, whether they are members of the post or not, will be treated to a free roast beef dinner at the post. 

"We also want to recognize all of our volunteers who have been helping up all the past year," Sanford said. "When people think they are appreciated and feel appreciated they will contribute and do more. I want them to feel appreciated."

Sanford said he plans on making the event an annual event at the post. 

"We will do this Sept. 11 every year regardless of what day of the week it falls on," Sanford said. "Sept. 11 is a great day to say thank you to veterans. Patriots Day is a great day for what we are trying to do."