Club Honors, Supports, Encourages Military by Serving Lunch to National Guard
On Saturday, December 7, 2019, the Pontotoc County Republican Women’s Club (Mississippi) served lunch to the National Guardsmen who were at their weekend drill at the Pontotoc National Guard Armory. Planning, Preparation, shopping, and decorating began well in advance of the day.
Club members prepared vats of homemade spaghetti, tossed salad, congealed salad, loaves of buttered French bread, and a large array of desserts to serve more than 200 hungry young men. One of our Club members brought in what looked to be a huge dishpan full of homemade banana pudding. This was the favorite dessert, as there was only a teaspoonful left over!
Tables in the Armory were decorated with patriotic centerpieces, fashioned by an artistic Club member. We also added some Christmas greenery for a festive look.
There were jobs for everyone, including warming the spaghetti and bread in the industrial-sized ovens, slicing cakes and pies, pouring tea, and refilling empty plates and empty stomachs! Even some of our husbands helped with the heavier work: garbage clean-up and hanging decorations and banners.
The meal began, as always, with a prayer and the Pledge of Allegiance. Club President Elise Richmond welcomed everyone and emphasized the reason for our furnishing the meal, which was to encourage our military men and women and to thank them for their service to our country.
After we were assured that no-one could possibly eat one more bite, we enjoyed mingling and visiting with the Guardsmen. One young man asked if someone could hem the pants of his dress uniform, as they were too long. I sent him up the street to Walmart to buy a sewing kit. When he returned, I realized that the light inside the building was not bright enough to see to thread the needle with navy blue thread, so I asked for a volunteer. Another young man quickly stepped up and said he had always had the job of needle-threading for his grandmother, so I was able to being hemming. We opened a door to let in the bright winter sunlight. Another man’s job was to stand guard and make sure nobody walked past and cast a shadow on my hemming. These men are such great guys! While I served, the man whose pants were being hemmed talked to the needle-threading man, and before long their conversation led to a part-time job being offered during the Christmas rush at a plant nursery!
It’s hard to say who enjoyed the event more: the Club members or the Guardsmen! We had planned to do this as an annual event, but the virus prevented our serving a meal during Christmas 2020. We have been in touch with the man in charge, who has the memorable name of Sergeant York (and yes, he is old enough to have seen the Gary Cooper movie by that name). We hope to serve another meal soon, perhaps as early as this summer.
I have a personal reason for wanting to support our military. My next-to-oldest son has served two deployments: in 2008-2009 to Iraq, and another in 2018-2019 in Kuwait.
Pontotoc County Republican Women deem it an honor to support and encourage American military men and women.
Nancy Anderson, PCRW (Mississippi) First Vice-President