Many years ago, the VFW( Veterans of Foreign Wars) and their friends and families, served a Thanksgiving dinner, at the former VFW hall (now the Haunted House Building, on East Washington Street) There was plenty of room and anyone who wanted to come in and eat, did so. They fed a lot of people who were so pleased to have this done.
As the years went by,more people came in to eat but the workers aged, some left the community, something needed to be done.
Three years ago the VFW , The American Legion and AMVETS joined together, providing more man- and -woman power and a larger space at the newer Legion building to keep this tradition going. Many shut-ins, from injury or illness, those who were not able to drive, etc, or were simply alone,needed to be taken care of and our vets stepped up-again, as they had for so many years and in so many situations, thankfully, this was not a war, but a grateful time!
On Thanksgiving Day, November 22, while many families were sleeping in, or watching the Macy Parade from New York, or football games; a dedicated group of veterans, their friends and families, all volunteers, were hard at work at 219 North Elizabeth St, the Legion Building, putting the final touches on 250 meals!
On Monday of that week, 22 turkeys were wrapped and baked, left to cool,, Wednesday was de-boning day. Spearheaded by the kitchen crew of the Legion headed up by Tom Redington, the volunteers prepared mashed potatoes, gravy,, dressing, green beans, noodles, rolls, and pumpkin pies. An assembly line of Good Samaritans made the job go quickly and easily. All was ready for delivering! Though a few came to the Legion to pick up meals, most were delivered, between 10:30 and noon-- all free meals to those receiving them.
Hats off to these good hearts, veterans who had stepped up only a few years ago, to serve their country, and a group there who had also served many years ago, Vietnam vets, and some Korean war vets. and many volunteers,not necessarily of the military but doing the right thing!
This Thanksgiving meal is only one of the events offered and shared by the three organizations leading the preparation of this meal. If you are a veteran or know of a veteran who might be interested in joining one or all three of these fine organizations, please call any member of any of them, Commander Josh Thielen of the American Legion, Commander
Marc Rogers of the AMVETS, or Commander Ron Jones of the VFW. Some veterans join all three!.
Thank you to all who helped in any way , not only the workers but to those who donated money or food, helping us to offset costs.; we are grateful and humbled that we were able to take care of our own.
In service to others.
Former Commander ALA Tom Redington
Former Commander ALA Ron Devore