Ingleside VFW Post veterans feed hundreds
A small group of Veterans from the Ingleside VFW Post 6386 are a snapshot of selfless hearts carrying on a tradition that started with Hurricane Celia. They kept the barbecue pit embers going continuously to feed helpers who cam from throughout the state to help Ingleside recover from Hurricane Harvey.
They were not alone as many companies and organizations from throughout the Coastal Bend came, and are still coming, to the affected communities to help.
VFW Post members fired up the barbecue pits Saturday, Aug. 26, 2017, to serve a hot meal to Department of Public Safety officers sent from the Rio Grande Valley to patrol the streets of Ingleside. On Sunday, they cooked 50 rib eye steaks for the Aransas Pass Emergency Operations Center.
The rest of the week, from Aug. 28 to Sept. 2, the pit embers never quit as Rick Gartin, Bernie Morency, Charlie Vickery, and Eloy Salinas worked to keep the flames going and food cooking.
They no longer have to cook, but continue their commitment to feeding the public as they now go to OxyChem to pick up 50 prepared meals and are serve them at the Post.
Vickery, a lifetime member, said, “Right now I am just tired. We just try to do what we have to do under these kinds of circumstances.”
The last meal they cooked was to a group of 37 volunteers, all Veterans with Team Rubicon, a disaster relief organization which arrived Saturday evening, Sept. 2. Rubicon volunteers are staying in the Post hall to sleep until they finish their mission, which is help prepare home repair work orders provided by a crisis line registration. The orders, which are for homes in Rockport, will then be turned in to the City of Rockport, who will send them to FEMA.
VFW Post Commander Greg Dalin said, “These are all veterans from across the nation with various trade skills, carpenters, plumbing, electrical, and other construction skills. They will get the job done.”
State of Texas VFW National Representative Larry Velasquez visited the post Friday, Sept. 1 to provide financial assistance to eligible VFW members in good standing. With proof of membership, veterans were given $200 cash to help them through this time.
Morency lives in one of the 40 RVs in the Tiki RV Park at the VFW untouched by Harvey. He said, “This was a community that come together. When our boots dry we will show the rest of the country what America is supposed to be.”