It was one of the most poignant moments of the weekend in Billings -- veterans standing vigil outside stores with fistsful of red poppies, the official memorial flower of the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States.

You couldn't help but get a lump in your throat as they stood proud and tall, hoping for a small token of financial help for disabled and needy veterans.

This program is especially critical in Montana, home to one of the largest populations of veterans per capita.

During the 1923 encampment the VFW decided that VFW "Buddy"® Poppies would be assembled by disabled and needy veterans who would be paid for their work to provide them with financial assistance. The next year, disabled veterans at the Buddy Poppy factory in Pittsburgh assembled VFW Buddy Poppies. The designation "Buddy Poppy" was adopted at that time, according to the VFW. 

Today, VFW Buddy Poppies are still assembled by disabled and needy veterans in VA Hospitals.

The VFW Buddy Poppy program provides compensation to the veterans who assemble the poppies, provides financial assistance in maintaining state and national veterans' rehabilitation and service programs and partially supports the VFW National Home For Children.

If you see these men and women with a poppy, remember what it symbolizes and consider giving, won't you.

Now, here from those who assemble the poppies in "The Veterans Behind the Poppy" video.

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