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BBQ With The Vets

SMA logoThe Redstone Arsenal Sergeants Major Association (SGMA), along with several other organizations, hosted the annual ‘BBQ with the Vets’ event on June 1, 2019. This is the ninth year that the groups have hosted the annual barbeque, according to the president of the SGMA, Mike McSwain. “The whole idea behind ‘BBQ with the Vets’ was to have an event once a year during the summer where we could bring in some great food for the veterans, their families, and the staff where they could sit and have lunch together for a few hours” McSwain explained. The event is always held at the Floyd E. “Tut” Fann Veterans Home in Huntsville, AL.

The Spices Smokehouse catering team, led by Robert and Lynn Entrekin from Boaz AL, prepared over 300 meals for the United States veterans, their families and staff. This was the seventh year that the Spices Smokehouse crew participated in the event by providing the BBQ and sides. Chase Gorham, nephew, and Harlie Gorham, niece of Lynn and Robert also helped this year. Lynn told National Barbecue News “Our family has been feeding troops for many years from Fort Campbell, Fort Bragg, Fort Stewart, and Red Stone Aresonal here in Huntsville.“ She also added, “This was a passion of my mom’s and we continue these events in her honor. It’s a real blessing to watch her grandchildren giving back as she did.”

A 3:00 am wake up call got the crew up and excited to cook for our vets! The Spices Smokehouse crew provided Caribbean glazed chicken, pulled pork, ribs (fall off the bone as requested), baked beans, potato salad, and rolls. The Veterans home prepared delicious pineapple upside down cake and slaw. The Spices crew arrived at the event by 9:00 am and prepared BBQ to be served in three different wings of the facility. Lynn told us “The meal was fit for a king and it’s the least we could do for the men and women that gave us our freedom.” Veterans family members were also invited to attend the day of celebration and enjoy some BBQ. Even the staff was invited to partake in this special event.

Five to seven members from each military organization participated in the event as well. They assisted with serving the veterans. The

Mr. Walker and Spices Crew. 100 year old WWII vet

Mr. Walker, 100-year-old WWII vet who served under General George Patton, poses with the Spices Smokehouse Crew

veterans are always served first and followed by their family members, staff and organization volunteers then go through the serving line. This event gives the veterans an opportunity to share stories with folks that were kids or not even born when they served. They really enjoy these types of events.

This is a great show of support for our veterans and without a doubt gives them a dose of appreciation that they all deserve. In closing, Lynn told us that “Everyone loves the BBQ so much that we make sure there will be leftovers for the veterans to enjoy again.” 

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