Veterans’ Thanksgiving dinner at Bong Veteran’s Historical Center

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While Thanksgiving can be a time for family and friends, for others thanksgiving can be one of the hardest days of the year. Especially if you might not be able to spend today with friends or loved ones. However, there is a place for families and others to get together to celebrate today.

The Richard I. Bong veterans historical center celebrated their 5th annual thanksgiving dinner for veterans, active military and their families. John Gidley, the executive director of the historical center explained the importance of the event.

“We decided to give them a full Thanksgiving dinner with all the trimmings. And it’s turned out pretty good. It’s the fifth year. And each year we’ve we increase the people who participate. I think we had like 70 some the first year this year we’ll probably do about 220. So it’s that’s almost as much as we can do so and it’s good.” Gidley said.

The staff at the Richard I. Bong Veterans’ Historical Center were thankful for the community support and volunteers. During the event today, volunteers gave over 220 meals to active military, veterans, and family members of those who served.

“This holiday season we’ll do Blue Star Families, Gold Star families, active military, retired spouses of veterans, anything like that. And it’s just a shame that they would have to spend this holiday by themselves. They served our country and it’s the least we can do for them.” Gidley said.

One of the many veterans who attended the event is Retired Colonel Lloyd Vienneau. He was one of the first veterans to start attending the Thanksgiving dinner when it began five years ago. Colonel Vienneau said the reason why he comes to the historical center every Thanksgiving is to meet with other veterans.

“Well, this is a great tribute to the veterans. And, I mean, we don’t do it very much, but we do a couple of times a year. They do a great job here. And you can see there’s a great turnout. Myself thankful I’m 90 I thank you Lord for 90.” Vienneau said.

Jann Brill, who’s worked at the center for a number of years says her family helps out every year since it started. “We realize that some of our volunteers, that our veterans would tell us they don’t have anything to do on Thanksgiving Day. We started small, just hoping to get to a few vets that we work with, that we would provide a meal for them, but now we’re sold out. So it’s pretty cool.” Brill said.

For another story about Thanksgiving you can read more here

However, for additional information about events at the Richard I. Bong historical center you can read here