JOPLIN, Mo. — When you think of a VFW, you usually think of post’s holding events for veterans, but tonight they’re doing things a bit differently.
How is Post 534 celebrating its supporters?
The post has a cooked meal, gifts from Santa, and a live band to say thank you to all community members who’ve supported these veterans throughout the year.
Brent Thomas, 203rd Engineer Battalion, said, “When I wear my veteran’s hat or wear my Army hat or whatever, I’m out in public and people come up. Little kids, this is what gets me the little kids 12, 13, 14, 15 years old come up to say I want to shake your hand and thank you.”
Joplin VFW Post 534 hosted the annual Christmas dinner.
Veterans, families, and community members enjoyed a home cooked meal, Christmas gifts from Santa, and a live band.
For veterans, this annual event is a way for them to get together and share stories.
John Drennan, 2nd Battalion 26th Marines, said, “It means coming together and meeting people that went through the same thing I had and just a family relationship.”
Although this is a gathering for vets, the post commander wants the public to know that this dinner is for them.
To thank them for all the support they’ve given to the post and local veterans.
Bruce Redden, Joplin VFW Post 534 Commander, said, “It shows that they’re appreciated for their support throughout the year you know.”
And for one man who has worked in the auxiliary for years, he’s humbled by the gratitude shown by members.
Raymond Redden, Auxiliary Jr. Vice President, said, “I’ve been volunteering for over 30 years here for my family and for the service members and to me it’s just you know a big thank you. It is.”
One hundred veterans, family members, and friends came out to enjoy the meal this evening.
VFW Post 534 will be holding a New Year’s Eve celebration and the public is welcome.