I had the honor to be part of this year’s Veterans Lunch held at Merced Elks Lodge. One person made this special event possible. Mary Camper not only came up with the idea, but she planned, organized, decorated, greeted and raised over $5,000 for veterans.
Everyone enjoyed the lunch prepared by Sheriff Vern Warnke and his crew. Boy Scout Troop 1240 greeted and thanked the veterans for their service as they entered the building. The highlight of the day was Merced City Manager Steve Carrigan telling us his father’s experiences as a POW in the Hanoi Hilton where he was beaten and tortured every day for five years. Hearing about his father’s experiences made my life seem simple.
Thank you to all the volunteers who helped as well as all the veterans who showed up. Most importantly, I want to thank and pray for the brave men and women who paid the ultimate price for our freedom with their lives.
Rick Seymour, Merced