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Local church opens doors to fellowship with public servants near Veterans Day

COURTESY PHOTO - The free lunch on Nov. 9 will include a presentation by Larry Ledford. The Sandy Seventh-day Adventist Church hosts multiple events every year to serve the community. But at 11:45 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 9, members of the church will host a luncheon in the fellowship hall, 18575 Langensand Road, for those who have served our country through the military, law enforcement and/or the fire services.

This will be the church's 10th year of serving lunch to first responders and veterans.

John Peil, a Vietnam War Army veteran who helps host the event said, "a large part of (my motivation for hosting this event) springs from the way we Vietnam veterans were treated at the time."

"Too many of us were vilified for doing our duty and risking everything in what we understood was a vital effort to protect an ally's freedom and liberty," Peil added. "I think it's important we recognize the people who sacrifice and dedicate their lives to protecting us. Whether it's at the national level or local level, these people are there to help us and protect us. I think too often we take what they do for granted."

The lunch is usually vegetarian fare, as is consistent with the Seventh-day Adventist faith, and what Peil describes as a "nice sit-down meal."

The meal is mainly for service members, but is open to community members who also want to come pay tribute.

"It's so fulfilling to get these people together," Peil said. "I enjoy the fellowship and getting together and reflecting on what we've done and are doing to serve."

Former Army Special Ops Veteran, Louisiana Sheriff and State Trooper Larry Ledford will attend as a guest speaker, and the event is free of charge. The luncheon opens with a ceremonial presentation of the colors and music by bagpipers. Vietnam veterans will also be presented lapel pins for their service.

Peil is still accepting in-kind donations of food for the lunch. To inquire about donating, contact John Peil at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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