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Veterans, first responders are being offered free food at weekend pig roast

Veterans and first responders will be honored by the Whitesburg post of the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) this weekend with a free pig roast.

The veterans’ service club is also using the event to recruit new members and collect blankets for veterans who are in nursing homes, said Darren Atkins, senior vice commander of the post.

The event is free and open to the public. Because of COVID-19, meals will be served drive-through style at the VFW post on Jenkins Road.

Atkins credited Post Commander Jay Perkins with planning the pig roast as a nod not just to veterans, but also to those who serve their community daily in emergency services.

“Basically, we’re going a combination thing — paying respect to our veterans and to our first responders,” Atkins said.

The blanket drive is to provide for veterans in nursing homes, many of which are not allowing visitors now because of the danger of spreading COVID-19 to residents.

“Even a few weeks ago, I tried to get in touch with Letcher Manor, and they wouldn’t let me in the door,” he said. “But, that’s a good thing.”

So not to forget the veterans, the club is requesting that persons who want to donate a blanket bring it to the club on Saturday when the pig roast is going on.

“We only ask that they be either new, or handmade,” Atkins said.

Donations are not required to attend. The pig roast is free and open to the public. It will begin at noon Saturday and last until 4 p.m., or until the food runs out.

Atkins was honored earlier this year by the national VFW’s Still Serving Campaign for his program to provide care packages to veterans, and was featured on Mike Rowe’s Facebook Watch television show Returning the Favor. He recently was named National Aide-De-Camp of the VFW, an honorary title for members who have gone above and beyond in service to their communities.

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