In appreciation of their service to our country, the Family Y is honored to host a special annual event for military veterans from Westport, Weston and other local communities. Veterans and their guests are invited to join Y staff and volunteer leaders for lunch on Sunday, November 11, from 12 to 2 pm in the Bedford Room.
Reverend Alison J. Buttrick Patton, the new pastor of Saugatuck Congregational Church, will give the invocation.
Along with musical accompaniment provided by Y youth members, one of the favorite traditions of this luncheon tribute is when our special guests speak personally about their service to our country.
At last year’s luncheon, Stanley Adelman, a retired major who served in the Army Air Corps and Air Force, spoke about his military career, which spanned World War II, the Korean War and Vietnam. He began as a bombardier/navigator, then piloted a B-26 Martin Marauder bomber, flying 53 combat missions in World War II.
"During the Battle of the Bulge, along the border between Germany and France, my crew and I were grounded by poor weather," Adelman recalled. "Then, on Christmas day, the weather broke and we flew two missions in support of American troops that were surrounded. That was the beginning of the final defeat of the Germans."
Asked about his most memorable moment during his service, Adelman cited not a combat experience but, "In 1944, I was stationed in Braintree, England, and met a young Navy lady named Jill,” he told local reporter Mike Lauterborn. “She was a radio operator in the Woman’s Royal Naval Service ... and she became my wife."
The Family Y’s annual Veterans Luncheon grew out of conversations that David Cohen, the Family Y’s Vice President of Operations, had with Family Y Members, oftentimes during mutual workout sessions in the Y’s Wellness Center. "In getting to know the members, I found so many with military history in their backgrounds," said Cohen. "I would hear about amazing acts of heroism that I felt we should celebrate and keep alive. While many of these veterans are of an older generation, others cut across younger age groups. I felt we owed all of them a debt of thanks for the freedoms that we enjoy."
Veterans interested in attending this special event are asked to RSVP total attendees by visiting the Family Y’s Member Services Desk or by contacting Administrative Assistant Joan Vitali, via firstname.lastname@example.org, or 203-226-8981, ext. 178.
Veterans Day is usually observed on November 11. However, if it occurs on a Sunday, as it does this year, then the following Monday is designated for holiday leave and is observed as a federal holiday.