Meredith Yeomans

Allen VFW Welcomed Back at Walmart

Some tiny flowers are getting a lot of attention in Allen.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars uses poppies to collect donations on Veterans Day and Memorial Day. The flowers symbolize the tens of thousands of Americans who died in World War I.

A century later, their roots still run deep. Donations raised from the poppies now help veterans returning home from service through the bi-annual VFW fundraiser.

"It's what we do. That's our whole focus from year to year is the focus for 'Buddy' Poppy," Allen VFW member Peder Mockler said.

Mockler and Steve Lengel say they passed out poppies in front of Walmart stores in the Allen area for years.

But this past Veterans Day, they say they were told, "It's corporate policy. You're not allowed to be here. Bottom line," Mockler recalled.

They say they tried to resolve the problem on their own for months, but were unable to. So, they called NBC 5.

We called Walmart and it turns out that's not the policy.

"I got a call immediately the next day, within hours after air," Lengel said.

After the NBC 5 story aired last week, the veterans and their poppies have been welcomed back at Walmart.

They say the process has been frustrating but they're looking forward to focusing on more important matters.

"We're very happy, very pleased. We're glad that Walmart took another look at us and said, 'Yeah, this is the right thing. We want the veterans in front of our stores,'" Lengel said.

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