by Bob Russell, ©2018

Photo credit: Frank Schulenberg at Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0

(Aug. 10, 2018) — Yesterday I was honored to attend the 4th Annual Cummins Diesel BBQ honoring Claremore Veterans Center.  It was billed as honoring residents, employees, and their families, but I was invited by the Volunteer Services coordinator, Bert Ellard, and Recreation Department head Monique DiLonardo, both of whom strongly urged me to attend as they felt I should be included as a volunteer worker.

This is the first time I have attended this event though I have been a volunteer all four times it has been held.  The first time I was only putting in a few hours per month, but I don’t know why I had not participated the last two years.  The company bought the meat, beans, and potato salad, and lots of it.  Employees cooked the beans and meat themselves and about 20 or so were there to serve us.  The meal was held in the auditorium and was well-attended by residents, staff, and family members.  We were treated to an excellent meal and were served by very nice people from Cummins.  I don’t know if they were on paid time or not, but either way, both the company and employees deserve a great deal of thanks from all of us.  It was especially nice because the recreation staff members were able to sit down and have a wonderful meal with those they serve every day.

The entire staff of the Veterans Center, from top to bottom, do a great job of honoring our veterans on a daily basis and it is always nice to see them get the recognition they so greatly deserve.  In my three years and three months volunteering there I have been VERY impressed with the quality of the employees, seeing daily how much love and appreciation our veterans are given by those who work there.  I have heard a great many people express that working there is much more a privilege than it is a job.  They look at their duties as a way to honor men and women who deserve much more love and consideration than they get in society.

I must admit that the general attitude towards our military and veterans has greatly improved since the Vietnam days when soldiers would come home after suffering the horrors of battle to be spat on and called vile names by people who blamed them for decisions made by the political ruling class cowards in Washington. However, I still think the general public, especially the left-wing media and the Democrat Party, owe our returning combat veterans much more respect and consideration than they are given.  It seems that once our soldiers do their job, one they are sent to do by politicians, they are discarded like yesterday’s garbage.

The fine people at Cummins, and there are other groups as well, have once again gone out of their way to express well-deserved love and appreciation.  There are 302 beds at Claremore and a majority are filled with Vietnam and Vietnam-era veterans, people who have never been given the thanks they deserve for their service during a politically-unpopular war.  It wasn’t their fault; they just got stuck with doing the dirty work and took blame that should have been heaped on the politicians who got us into that quagmire and then bailed on the Vietnamese people and the soldiers they sent there.

There are many civic groups that do things to show love and appreciation to the residents.  The American Red Cross and  the Claremore BPOE (Elks Lodge), are also very active in honoring our veterans.  There are several VFW and American Legion Posts that provide money for bingo games throughout the month to give the residents entertainment and the opportunity to win some money.  All of these events are very much appreciated by the residents and very well-attended.

I want to say THANK YOU to every group that spends time and money honoring the fine residents of our facility.  Hate groups like antifa and blm get all the media attention because it seems that hate is what  the media likes and what they thrive on, but I want to see more attention paid to the fine people at Cummins Diesel, who spend time and money showing love to those who deserve it the most!!!!!  And THANK YOU to all the fine employees who show that love and respect every single day.

Cummins Diesel is located in Tulsa, Oklahoma on I-44 at the 161st E. Ave. exit, on the north side if the highway.   I also want to thank Bert and Monique for inviting me and making it so clear how much they wanted me to attend.  I am so honored that the recreation staff includes me in so much that they do.

I submit this in the name of the Most Holy Trinity, in faith, with the responsibility given to me by Almighty God to honor His work and not let it die from neglect.

Bob Russell
Claremore, Oklahoma

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