The Tri-City Elks Lodge No. 14 has issued a unique dinner invitation to an important group of individuals who Exalted Ruler Mark Eaton says “people don’t do enough for and is, unfortunately, a most-often forgotten lot.”
Eaton and Lodge 14 will host a Veterans Appreciation Dinner next Thursday evening, June 6 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. at the Tri-City Elks home at 1915 West Shore Road in Warwick.
“We’ve invited all wounded warriors, disabled vets, homeless vets and current military members,” Eaton, who served 14 months in the Vietnam War with the United States Army from 1968 to 1971, said. “We want to say thank you for your service and to make the community aware of your many sacrifices.”
Eaton is a Warwick native and graduated from Veterans Memorial High School in 1968. He was in a combat unit during his tour of Vietnam and wants it known the Vets Appreciation Dinner is free. It’s also an example of what Eaton hopes Lodge 14 will do for the community during his reign as exalted ruler.
The night’s menu, Eaton announced last night while talking with people from four other non-profits who will volunteer to work the June 6 dinner, will include chicken, macaroni, French fries, salad and music.
“We’ll have members of the Ladies Emblem Club Number One, Oakland Beach Fire Company, American Legion and VFW serving our veterans and working in the kitchen,” Eaton said.
The Elks National Foundation provides grants for such community-oriented projects.
“They want local lodges to put together programs that will benefit people in a community, especially when it comes to our military. We should always remember what sacrifices the military has made and is still making.”
“Unfortunately, our current military can take two and three trips overseas and no one thanks them,” Eaton went on. “We at Lodge 14 are going to say thank you in a big way next week.”
Eaton said people in the Veterans Hospital, Wounded Warriors, Vets Helping Vets, Homeless and Disabled Vets and all members of the five branches of the Armed Forces are on the invitation list for the June 6 dinner. It was no happenstance that June 6 was chosen.
“D-Day is another of those days in history that most people have forgotten about,” Eaton noted. “We thought it would work well because we’re honoring a special group of men and women.”
Veterans who would like to attend next Thursday’s appreciation dinner should call either 529-9213 or 737-9510 to make reservations.
“We need to know how many veterans to cook for,” said Eaton. “We’re hoping to fill the lodge to capacity with our valued veterans.”