MT. VERNON — A retired military man is recognizing current military personnel during a "Support Our Troops and Bring Them Home Safe" luncheon Wednesday at Ryan's. The event coincides with Armed Forces Day.
J.D. Gillespie, who served 20 years in the U.S. Coast Guard, is hosting the luncheon, and has invited the public to show their support by attending the luncheon, which will honor active duty and reserve members stationed or on leave in the Mt. Vernon area."There won't be any speeches," Gillespie said. "My thoughts are we need to give back to these people. It's one thing to honor veterans, it's another to recognize those on active duty. We want to honor and pay respect to the people on active duty. They're making sacrifices, and their families too, and committed to this country."Gillespie, who has two sons retired from the military and a grandson who is a master diver for the U.S. Navy, said the luncheon is not affiliated with any organization or club."I have friends who have active duty military visiting them during this period. I have invited those that I know. It is must my patriotic way of showing support for our military."Guests will have to pay for their meal, but are also invited to show support for the military, Gillespie said.About 30 military personnel have indicated they will attend the luncheon at 11:30 a.m., he added.He also said if this event is successful, he would like to do it again next year."It's all for the good of our country — recognizing those that are giving of their time and service to our great nation," he said.