The Coventry-West Greenwich Elks BPOE #2285 recently hosted a Salute to Our Veterans/Veterans Stand Down ceremony. More than 170 Veterans attended the ceremony and represented all branches of the armed services; Marines, Navy, Air Force, Army and Coast Guard.
Distinguished guests included Keynote Speaker Brigadier General Charles E. Petracca, Army National Guard Assistant Adjutant General; Chief Master Sargent Lori Ashness, USAF; Coventry-West Greenwich Exhalted Ruler, Rosemarie Besson; RI Senators Frank Maher and Nicholas Kettle; RI States Elks Vice President West, Barry Cole, US Navy; RI State Elks Veterans Chairman, Ernest Faiola, US Navy; Coventry-West Greenwich BPOE #2285 Chairman, Phil Malouin, US Coast Guard and Co-chairman, Frank Dolan, US Marines.
The Invocation was given by John Lamantia, Past Grand Lodge Committeeman, US Marines. The Posting of the Colors was presented by the RI Civil Air Patrol and the National Anthem was performed by the 88th Army Band.
A dinner of short ribs, potatoes, green beans and salad was prepared and donated by Dan Hebert, US Marines veteran and proprietor of Dan’s Place in West Greenwich.
Awards and plaques of commendation were presented to seven veterans, representing all branches of the service. In addition, gift cards made available through the Beacon Grant from the Elks National Foundation in the amount of $50 were presented to 20 more veterans in recognition of their service and sacrifice and to help our veterans purchase winter necessities. Elks care, Elks share.