By Frank Lewis
On Sunday, two events of great significance to the area were occurring simultaneously. James Dickey Post 23 of the American Legion was entertaining families of deployed soldiers from the 1191st Engineers Company, and the members of that unit were setting foot in Afghanistan.
While the families were enjoying great food and camaraderie, Bobbie Shope of New Boston received a text from her son, Sergeant Brian Hickman, that the soldiers had landed in Afghanistan earlier in the morning.
The event Sunday was chaired by Post 23 past commander and Assistant Portsmouth Fire Chief Shawn Gee who credited his many helpers from Post 23 and the Family Readiness Group, which is chaired by Tammy Sigman at the armory on Coles Boulevard.
Jim Saddler of Post 23 said, during the fun day picnic, Portsmouth Ambulance Company provided all of the hamburgers, hot dogs and other refreshments prepared by employees Perry Davis and Andrew Crawford. Post 23 family members provided side dishes and desserts.
Saddler said Davis indicated he and Crawford served more than 200 hamburgers and 200 hot dogs with sauce and condiments during the afternoon. He said about 200 wives with children of all ages were in attendance along with several soldiers who have not as yet been deployed. The school aged children were provided school supplies.
“The day’s activities were filled with just about anything a child and a young mother might wish for,” Saddler said. “Bouncing rides, popcorn, snow cones, treats of all kinds, good food and desserts.”
Gee said the Post 23 Auxiliary is in the process of planning a baby shower for all the new arrivals to the 1191st family. Post 23’s Auxiliary President Donna Lewis and Second Vice President Sue Sines will chair the event.
Frank Lewis can be reached at 740-353-3101, Ext. 1928, or on Twitter @FrankLewispdt.