The WJB Dorn VA Medical Center will host a dinner event for Operation Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom (OEF/OIF) Veterans and family members on September 2nd, 2010 at 7Grill. The event is called “An Evening for Heroes”; Veterans and family members will be able to enjoy an evening of good food and entertainment at no cost to them.
The first of this regularly planned, monthly dinner event is sponsored by the WJB Dorn VA Medical Center, and is supported by donations from private individuals and local vendors in the Columbia community.
The event will provide Veterans an opportunity to spend time with family members and other OEF/OIF Veterans while enjoying a meal made to order. This event will allow citizens to show support and gratitude for these brave men and women, and let everyone know that we stand behind our Veterans and service members.
This idea began in Washington D.C. at Fran O’Brien’s Stadium Steakhouse in 2003. It gives military veterans a guest of honor status as they undergo rehabilitation for their injuries. Hal Koster, the owner, felt that “they would heal quicker” with a night out. The popularity of the event made it a weekly staple at the famed steakhouse.
Patrons there have been known to buy whole rounds of drinks for the attendees, and often, some will just stop by to say “Thank you.” to a veteran on the way to the restroom. Attendees know that this dinner is very, very special. Applause has been known to spontaneously break out. These salutations “go a long way towards reassuring soldiers that they continue to enjoy the support and gratitude of their fellow citizens.”
This event provides a rare respite from the intense business of getting better. Since veterans are surrounded by family, caregivers, and fellow servicemen, they can let their guard down a little, blow off steam, and reconnect with the ordinary pleasure of an evening out with good food, drink and company.
“This is just some way for us to play a part in the long journey through the healing process. We just want everyone to know that we stand behind our military and this is just a small way to thank them.” Mark Leger, owner and manager of 7 Grill.
The WJB Dorn VA Medical Center and Mark Leger are proud to host these wonderful events for Veterans, and welcome anyone who wishes to become a part of this memorable evening.