Magazine article VFW Magazine

Wisconsin VFW Serves Up 7,000 Meals for Guard Troops

Magazine article VFW Magazine

Wisconsin VFW Serves Up 7,000 Meals for Guard Troops

Article excerpt

VFW members and Posts demonstrating community service. By Kelly Lanigan

Volunteers from around the state came together to show support for soldiers scheduled to deploy to Iraq this year.

Some 3,400 Army National Guard troops who had just completed three weeks of training at Fort McCoy, located between Tomah and Sparta, Wis., were honored and rewarded at a picnic put on by VFW members from Wisconsin on Aug. 20-21, 2008.

About 175 VFW and Auxiliary members and other volunteers provided more than 7,000 meals. Bratwursts, hamburgers, potato salad, beans, chips and cold drinks were served at lunch and dinner both days to the troops, who are scheduled to deploy to Iraq in early 2009.

"It started out in the 9th District," said Pete Breed, certified national recruiter and member of Post 10331 in Chetek, Wis. "We were going to do it for the 128th Infantry. When we went down and talked to the battalion commander, he said the whole brigade [32nd Infantry Brigade Combat Team] was going to be down there. Now we're talking about 3,000 to 3,500 people. We didn't know if we could swing that. But we said 'the hell with it, let's take care of all of them.' Everybody pitched in to help."

The event was not planned as a recruiting event, but VFW information was disseminated and membership applications were available. Live music was provided for entertainment each day.

"We received hundreds of personal thanks from soldiers as they passed through the mess line or while we visited with them during the meals," Breed said. …

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