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MASSACHUSETTS POST HOSTS HOLIDAY HOMECOMING

Post 2016 continues a 10-year tradition

“With great food, a great ceremony and military pride overflowing, service members and veterans return year after year,” said Post 2016 Commander Ski Iworsky, referring to his post’s annual “Support the Troops Christmas Dinner.”

This tradition began in 2001 when Past Commander John Carter suggested an event that would bring together area service members home for the holidays. As the years went on, the dinner was opened up to all local veterans.

“We wanted to give all veterans the chance to thank those who are currently serving,” said Iworsky, “and it means a lot for them to connect with the men and women who have followed in their footsteps.”

This year’s dinner was held at Holy Family Church Parish Hall in Amesbury, Mass., and was coordinated by a team of 15 volunteers. More than 200 people attended.

The night began with Christmas carols sung by the Cashman Elementary School Chorus, followed by the Aleppo Shriners bagpipers and the Amesbury Police Color Guard.

“The opening of the ceremony was so great,” said Iworsky. “It was especially nice to see the kids getting involved.”

After the festive opening, guest speakers, Congressman John Tierney, Representative Mike Costello and SFC Bruce Hoiseth, shared their gratitude for all the veterans and service member who’ve sacrificed so much.

Each service member was then called up to be recognized.

“Everyone received a standing ovation,” said Iworsky. “To me, witnessing that kind of support was the highlight of the evening.”

Funded entirely by Massachusetts’ banks and businesses, this tradition will continue for many years to come.

“I’m proud to be one of the organizers,” said Iworsky, “but I’m most proud to be one of the Vietnam veterans in attendance. Because there is no pride like military pride.”

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