The irony was unavoidable during the closing minutes of our council’s annual cookout at the Veterans Administration hospital on Lancaster Avenue in Dallas on Friday, Nov. 10. One of the guests had finished his lunch of a hot dog, hamburger, baked beans, cookie and chips and was heading out of the conference room/dining hall when he turned to one of the KC members and said, “Thank you for your service.” That, of course, is why Council 8157 travels to the hospital each Veterans Day, to thank them for their service.
This year’s cookout was held one day before Veterans Day since the actual holiday fell on a Saturday and other events were planned at the hospital. Our council was led by Dan Murphy, director of community activities, and Bill Dover, our regular liaison to the hospital. Joining them were Grand Knight Jim Richardson, Deputy Grand Knight Tom Greco, Andy Goza, Al and Allen Alonzo, Larry Balagna, Dan Keough, Jeff Miller, Jose Montoya, Ed O’Brien, Ken Rarick, Allen Reitmeier, Arthur Rodriguez, Jim Stavinoha and David Ybarra, We were joined by others from Council 12484 from St. Francis of Assisi in Lancaster and Council 7017 from Holy Cross in Dallas. The majority of Knights who helped that day were serving brothers in arms, being veterans themselves.
Dan is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis and retired as a Navy Commander in 1995.
“I’m very proud to have served in the Navy for 20 years and then instructed in the NJROTC high school program for 17 years,” he said. “All I ask of people is to recognize the sacrifice men and women made to serve our country and to appreciate that this sacrifice is the reason our country continues to enjoy the rights we all have as Americans.
“As far as serving other veterans, I feel we should all help those in stress but especially those vets who are having issues in their daily lives due to their military service. This cookout is our small token of help and show of appreciation.”