DELMAR, N.Y. (NEWS10) -Around 500 members make up the American Legion, the Sons of the American Legion, and the Auxiliary at the Blanchard-Currey Post #1040. Together, they made sure about 150 veterans and their loved ones got a free dinner.
Commander of the Sons, Joseph Benoit, says they host the “Thank a Vet” roast pork dinner as a tradition to honor service members. “Every year around Veteran’s Day, and because Veteran’s Day falls on next Saturday, we are doing it a week early because of the parade and things of that nature. We want the veterans to have an opportunity to participate in that as well.”
In active duty or not, service members were acknowledged by their branch and era of conflict. One hero who served in World War II attended the dinner.
“It’s just a real honor to be able to sit with everybody. Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Army, all of us together as one family. We can talk about the challenges we’ve had, the happiness, the sadness,” said Commander of the American Legion, Jeremy Martelle.
Veteran First Class in the Army Nation Guard, Cliff Thompson, says celebrations like these are important to honor the sacrifices made by those during wartime, as they were not always seen in a positive light.
“Some of them weren’t too happy when they came back from wars. They weren’t shown the credit that they needed. This is one way of telling them and showing them we appreciate it,” described Thompson.
And for those who never made it home, the legion prays they find peace. “Let us remember and never forget their sacrifice. May God forever watch over them and protect them and their families,” said Martelle.