MARINE CORPS AIR STATION MIRAMAR, Calif. --
With the scent of sizzling steaks wafting through the air, veterans with local Veterans of Foreign Wars districts and chapters served lunch outside of Hangar 5 to Marines and sailors aboard Marine Corps Air Station Miramar, Calif., June 27.
The veterans visited the installation to share a meal and good times with their brothers and sisters from another generation.
“We donated nearly 10,000 dollars this year to buy the food the service members here today are enjoying,” said Ron Bonnin, VFW District 1 commander, and a San Diego native. “We came out here to show our continuing commitment to those who sacrifice their freedoms for ours. We want to thank these service members for everything they do and we are showing that through giving them a nice meal.”
During the event, Marines and sailors were encouraged to take food, gifts and information while visiting booths from local vendors and speaking with veterans to share war stories both past and present.
“I feel really good about being able to come out here and share my time making the Marines feel good,” said Maj. Brillo Licari (Ret.), a Mission Valley VFW Post 3787 member and a Norwalk, Va., native. “I like to tell the Marines and sailors about what our organization has to offer them once they get out of military. Sometimes the civilian life can be a little harsh and we want them to know that there is a place that will welcome them with open arms, and that’s us.”
The veterans weren’t the only ones who showed their thankfulness to those who served, young Marines also spent time talking to their veteran seniors and showing their own appreciation.
“It’s great to have [the VFW] out here showing its appreciation for what we do,” said Pfc. Julio Garcia Zavala, an administrative specialist with the Installation Personnel Administration Center and an Alexandria, Va., native. “I talked to a few of the veterans in the chow line. They said thank you, and I thanked them. I greatly appreciate what they’re doing today, because it isn’t every day you get something like this.”
After the food had been polished off, the Marines and sailors returned to work for the day, having built new and stronger friendships learning more of their services’ histories from those who had lived through it.