Join New Gretna Volunteer Fire Co. and Breezes for Armed Forces Day

May 09, 2018

Most people probably don’t know much about Armed Forces Day, but the New Gretna Volunteer Fire Co. is doing its best to mark the day, Saturday, May 19, with a celebration hosted by Breezes at the Viking Yachting Center.

Breezes Dock Bar and Grill in New Gretna is the place to be from noon to 4 p.m. for the celebration, and will offer a free koozie and appetizer for any member of any branch of the armed forces with military ID.

Also, the Veterans United Military Museum will have a display. The museum is the project of Jim Comis, a fire company member.

The afternoon will also have games and a raffle. Those skilled at cornhole can win a Dalmation dog toy (while supplies last) if they land three beanbags in the hole.

Armed Forces Day began on Aug. 31, 1949. Defense Secretary Louis Johnson announced the creation of an Armed Forces Day to replace separate Army, Navy and Air Force Days. The single-day celebration stemmed from the unification of the armed forces under one agency, the Department of Defense.

The event at Breezes on May 19, open to all, will also serve as a fundraiser for the New Gretna Volunteer Fire Co. Breezes will donate a portion of the bar receipts to the fire company and to the military museum.

Said fire company President Andy Anderson, “We were looking for ways to engage the community and also raise funds, and we thought, nobody does anything on Armed Forces Day; how appropriate to could hold an event that day.

“Win Allen, who owns Breezes, told us he wanted to do some kind of event to help the fire company, so we sat down with him and we shared our idea with him.”

Anderson added, “A number of volunteers in the fire company have served in the military, and one of the youngest members just joined the National Guard Reserves.”

New Gretna is a small community, but the fire company gets called out additionally to forest fires in the nearby pinelands. Drills, maintenance and fundraising to cover equipment are other tasks that keep the core of active members busy. The municipality buys major equipment such as trucks, but retains ownership of the trucks.  —M.S.

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