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VFW HOSTS A FITTING FAREWELL

Post 5448 hosts a special breakfast for 300

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When VFW Post 5448 Quartermaster Daniel Ham heard the news that a local Army National Guard unit was deploying to Afghanistan, he knew he wanted to do something special.

With help from Post 5448 in Griffin, Ga., its Ladies Auxiliary and 1st Sgt. Ricky Todd, Ham began planning a farewell event for the men and women of HHC Company 2nd Battalion, 121st Infantry Regiment, of Georgia’s 48th Infantry Brigade.

“We knew we wanted to show our support to these soldiers and their families,” said Ham. “What better way to do that than to feed them a delicious, free meal before they deploy?”

Post 5448 was awarded a VFW Military Assistance Program grant to help fund the event.

Post 5448 worked together with HHC Company, local government officials, churches and other veterans’ groups to host the event.

The touching farewell was held in April at a Kiwanis facility in Griffin. Some 125 National Guard troops turned out for the free meal and heartfelt community thanks.

More than 300 family members and friends, as well as dozens of volunteers, attended to show support and serve the meals.

“The breakfast really gave people a chance to bond with other families in the community,” said Ham. “It just goes to show that support is out there whether it be in the form of a donation, a heartfelt message or a hot meal.”

The event included a short ceremony by the Military Affairs Committee of the Griffin Spalding Chamber of Commerce, as well as remarks by Griffin Mayor Dick Morrow, HHC Commander Jeffrey Freeman, State Representative and WWII veteran John Yates and organizer Daniel Ham.

Following the ceremony, Griffin police saluted the unit by escorting them out of the city.

Despite heavy rain, hundreds of local citizens lined the streets with umbrellas and United States flags as busloads of troops drove away.

“Like those grateful citizens, the VFW stands behind our troops,” Ham said. “We want all of our troops to know that we are here to assist them and that we will never stop trying to make their lives better.”

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