“This past Thanksgiving Day Post 252 in Seminole Fl. District 16 hosted approx 250 veterans from The Bay Pines VA hospital,” said Department of Florida Sgt-At-Arms Mike Addis. With all the volunteers and staff the total fed was around 300. The preparation starts 2-3 weeks before Thanksgiving. They roasted, deep fried and smoked about 40 turkeys, used 30 Lbs of sausage to make the stuffing, beans, corn, candied yams, mashed potatoes, 500 rolls and pumpkin and apple pie as desert.
Many volunteers that helped with the serving and preparation came from the Seminole community. The VA provided buses including a bus with wheelchair accessibility for transporting the vets. Every wheelchair vet is assigned a personal assistant who with the vet decides what they want, then delivers the food directly to the vet.
One of the hospitalized veterans named Pete, who is 80, regaled everyone with his harmonica music. Pete plays all the military songs and much marching music, among his repertoire. One has to wonder if he didn’t study under Larry Adler.
Many Department Officers assisted with the dinner. Dept. Cmdr. Al Porter, Vice Cmdr. Fletcher Williams, Historian Sue Mason, Chaplain Bob Vick, Sgt-At-Arms Mike Addis, Membership Chairman Art Schwabe, 17 District Cmdr. Jim Baker, PDC George Wherli and Post 252 Cmdr. Larry Burmaster. From the SAL family was Detachment Cmdr. Mike Dooley. 16 District Cmdr. Kirk Miller, Detachment Historian Paul Micelli and 16 District Finance Officer Ron Van Wie. From Dept., Aux. Pres. Irma Wherli, Aux. Dept. Chaplain Marion Vick and OMK Dept. Caron Addis.
Photo courtesy of Mike Addis. (Photo of Pete the harmonica Player)
Submitted by Andrew W. Nagy, Dept of FL.