Veterans Day dinner to reach out to servicemen
By Denise Baran-Unland Correspondent November 8, 2012 2:24PM
If you go …
What: Community Veterans Day Dinner
When: 6 p.m. Sunday
Where: First Presbyterian Church, 805 Western Ave., Joliet
Etc: Pork roast dinner, two guest speakers and donations accepted for Operation Care Package
Cost: Free to veterans and soldiers home from deployment, free-will offering to families and members of the community. Reservations required. Space is limited.
Contact: 815-727-9259 or by emailing email@example.com
Have you ever wished you could do something tangible to welcome returning soldiers and show appreciation to veterans for their service to our country?
Attend a special recognition dinner for veterans Sunday at First Presbyterian Church in Joliet and find out what you can do to make a difference for them. Speakers include Cynthia Ketcham, superintendent of the Will County Veterans Assistance Commission, and Capt. Mike Wakeland, chaplain, Illinois National Guard.
“Veterans are not prideful people; they’re not looking for public recognition,” said Dale Ambler, associate pastor-elect and one of the event coordinators. “It’s been their honor and privilege to keep us free. The flip side for those of us that never served is that we don’t have an understanding what they’ve gone through. There’s a gap that needs to be filled.”
Four of the church’s members are now actively deployed and two are serving in the United States.
Figuring out how to adequately meet their needs and properly acknowledge their sacrifices is a challenge and one that Senior Pastor Craig Herr and members of the women’s group wanted to address, Ambler said.
The decision to host a Veterans Day Dinner dinner, along with offering knowledgeable guest speakers, became a natural outreach of their concern. Moreover, the church wants to foster a greater awareness for Veterans Day celebrations in the community.
It’s a shame, Ambler said, that often more emphasis is placed on Halloween than honoring those individuals who fought for their country.
“I missed the draft in college,” Ambler said. “But I still remember how we treated our Vietnam vets. I think we can do better and being educated is a good place to begin. As long as we continue serving in foreign lands, this is a big deal.”
The church’s night deacons will cook the dinner. The meal will consist of pork roast, cheesy potatoes and green beans, followed by cherry pie for dessert, courtesy of the church’s women’s group. The hall will hold 285 hungry people.
“It would be great if we had 285 show up,” Ambler said.
In addition, Ambler is asking everyone attending the event to bring needed items for Operation Care Package. The organization is especially seeking homemade Christmas stockings, nonperishable foods and personal care packages. The items will be packaged and sent to the overseas troops.
“We would love to get something to everyone stationed outside of the country,” Ambler said.