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Muncy VFW Post Hosts Fifth Free Dinner

By Brian D. Hess - Special to The Luminary | Dec 4, 2019

MUNCY-For the last five years, the Muncy VFW Post 3428 has been hosting a free Thanksgiving dinner, with turkey and all the trimmings, as an outreach for all people in the local community. “As a veteran’s organization, we strive to make a positive impact in the community,” said Post Quartermaster Charlie Schreck. Schreck is a Navy and Army 27-year-veteran and three-time post past commander. “We try to do this for people who live alone; people who are in need.”

For most families in the tri-community of Muncy, Hughesville, and Montgomery, Thanksgiving begins the traditions of holiday spirit, closing out with the New Year. It is a time for family, friends and neighbors to gather in the spirit of humanity. The warmth of friendship and family made it easy to forget the cold and blustery November weather outside. People of all ages from toddlers to elderly came together.

“There weren’t really any free meals on Thanksgiving Day in Muncy before, most of them are in Williamsport, and one hosted by a church in Hughesville. But to have one in Muncy was needed,” said Samantha Stuut of Hughesville. She is a member and employee of the post.

Meals are not just limited to people who come to the post and sit down to eat. The post also delivers to people who call in and make a reservation and to those who post members know who are infirm, or just unable to cook for themselves and travel to the post. Halfway through the event, which ran from 11 a.m. through 3 p.m., post members had made 23 deliveries.

“It seems like the need for the meal increases each year,” explained Lorie Brehm of Muncy. Brehm is the post manager and has organized the meal for the past five years. “I just thought it would be a nice thing for us to do for the community. I approached the board and asked if I could host a free meal and they were very receptive to the idea and told me to ‘run with it.'”

The post covers most of the costs while members donate desserts. Tips left by participants from the community and by post members also contribute to the dinner. Brehm came in at 8 a.m. to prepare the homemade meal that consisted of six turkeys, corn, green beans, mashes potatoes, gravy, stuffing, dinner rolls, cranberry sauce, pies, cookies, coffee, tea, and ice water. Halfway through the meal, the dinner count was up to 32 people served.

“Last year, I believe we served about 90 people,” stated Brehm. “We ran announcements on WILQ and the Shopper, and social media.”

Janet Hill, wife of Post President Byron Hill, brought her family for the meal. “We come as a family every Sunday, but this the first time we came for the Thanksgiving Dinner.”

Robert and Bonnie Eberlin of Picture Rocks, Dave and Teresa Mosier of Hughesville, and Jerrica Mull and her 7-month-old baby boy Sawyer Altemus, were accompanied by Matt Mull-also of Hughesville, are all part of the Hill’s family. This was Sawyer’s very first Thanksgiving! Everyone really enjoyed the family time, the atmosphere and according to Bonnie, “The food was really very good!”

Byron Hill of Picture Rocks, has been a member of the post since 1993, and with four-year-members Wayne and Tammy Laidacker of Muncy, served food with a smile and a “Happy Thanksgiving!” Byron said that this is something that he and his wife have done for the past few years and that they really enjoyed helping people and giving back to the community. “Our manager, Lorie, has done a great job putting this together for the past five years. It’s just a nice thing to do for so many people.”

Schreck has been a member of the post since 1986 and has seen the transition of the post from its original Main Street, Muncy location, to its current location behind North Market. According to Schreck, the post has branched out to a much wider community over the years, it’s not the “VFW of the old days” now that the membership has swelled with the additions of social members and increasing Auxiliary Membership, it is possible for the post to host big annual dinners and many other social events throughout the year.

If you would like to join the local VFW Post 3428, established in 1936, feel free to contact a local member or just come to the post located at 12 N Market St, Rear, Muncy. Social and auxiliary memberships are available, and if you are a qualifying Veteran, they would love to bring you into the fold of the ever-growing post family. The post’s phone number is (570) 546-3820. They are open seven days a week and most holidays.

Check them out on Facebook. Search for Muncy VFW Post 3428 and join the family. Social events are often updated and all-inclusive.

The Veterans of Foreign Wars is the largest and oldest veterans’ organization and assists veterans and their families with many aspects of life as an aggressive vocal advocate to government agencies, governing bodies and organizations, defending veteran’s benefits, education, as well as health concerns with the VA Health Care System. More information can be found on the official VFW Website www.vfw.org.