Written by Lisa Cadwallader
ALA Unit 71, Charleston, WV
American Legion Auxiliary Unit 71 in Charlestown, W.Va., hosted the 8th Annual VAMC picnic. Every year, we do a full-scale picnic with thought of feeding 200 veterans. We have a fun day starting at 7 a.m. We take music with us – either a deejay or karaoke and lots of door prizes. The veterans like that idea. Our American Legion Family spends time chatting with them, and it warms my heart.
The year we hosted the first picnic, I approached one of the Legionnaires (whom I now refer to as our head cook) and asked him if he would grill for the VA. He loves to grill. He was skeptical, but he did it for me. As I walked around, making sure everything was OK, I heard Legionnaires say, “Look at that grill; the food just keeps coming!”
Each year, we roll a grill in on the back of a pickup truck. We usually cook 80 pounds of beef, 200 hamburgers, 200 hot dogs and provide macaroni salad, coleslaw, and deserts. We go full force.
Now the head cook thinks we should quit our jobs and go from VA to VA doing this. His reaction, when it was all said and done, “It was amazing!”