PDT Staff Writer
Despite the rain, many members of the community came to Golden Corral in New Boston Monday afternoon for a free ‘thank you’ dinner for veterans and active duty military.
According to Golden Gorral’s website “to date, Golden Corral restaurants have provided over 3.2 million free meals and contributed over $6.1 million to the Disabled American Veterans organization.”
A ceremony was held outside of the restaurant before the event. Among those in attendance were Bill Etterling, father of USMC LCpl Jonathan Etterling.
LCpl Jonathan Etterling, 22, of Wheelersburg was killed Jan. 26, 2005 while serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom.
“It’s a true honor to be here with our veterans and to honor our veterans. I was asked to say a few words about my son Jonathan. The community has been so great to our family and has shown such honor to our son,” Etterling said. “As a nation I think it’s a wonderful thing we pay tribute to our heroes both living and deceased.”
Also addressing those in attendance was Ken Crawford, Commander of American Legion Post 23.
“Veterans Day observances traditionally honor those who have served in the US Military. We must heed the world of our first commander in chief George Washington, who said in 1798, ‘the willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive veterans of early wars were treated and appreciated by our nation.’ For their (veterans) dedication we must always be grateful,” Crawford said.
Mike Bell, First Vice Commander for American Legion Post 471 and organizer of the event also addressed the crowd.
“Today we are here to honor our veterans past and present. We’re also here today to recognize veterans for their unwavering service to the United States of America. Across this great country and throughout the world Americans will pause today, to honor our brave fighting men and women. For more than 230 years they (veterans) have written our freedom by their duty, their honor and their selfless services to the citizens of the United States,” Bell said. “We recognize that all veterans have given something of themselves to this country but, some have given all, by laying down their lives to defend the freedoms that we hold so dear. Today, as we stand here and reflect on the blessings of our liberty, we ask our heavenly father that we may be faithful stewards of the freedom we’ve been granted.”
New Boston Mayor Jim Warren, Portsmouth Mayor David Malone and Retired Ohio Army National Guard Colonel and State Representative Dr. Terry Johnson were also among those who addressed those in attendance.
Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 228, or email@example.com.