Brookshire's honors veterans with cookout

Published on Thursday, 19 September 2013 22:08 - Written by By Rebecca Hoeffner rhoeffner@tylerpaper.com

The residents of Watkins-Logan Texas State Veterans Home enjoyed a hamburger cookout Thursday provided by Brookshire’s in honor of National POW/MIA Recognition Day today.

“The character of a nation lies in how it treats its veterans and elderly,” said Retired U.S. Army Major General John Furlow. “We stand on the shoulders of what you sacrificed.”

The residents of the veterans home include those who served in WWII, Vietnam and Korea.

“This is great,” said Bud Forbes, resident and Marine Corps veteran who served in WWII. “I love it; it’s beautiful. These kids bend over backward to help you.”

Richard Carter was recognized at the event.

Carter was held as a prisoner of war in a camp called Stalag in Krems, Austria, in WWII. He was shot down over Paris before the Germans captured him. He spent one year and 14 days in the camp. He weighed 185 pounds when he was captured and was down to 100 pounds when he was rescued, according to his written biography provided by the veteran’s home.

Dave Berry, editor of the Tyler Morning Telegraph, presented the veteran’s home with one of his photographs. “I’ve Got Your Back” is a shot of Frederick Hart’s “Three Servicemen” statue, which is at the Vietnam Wall memorial.

“I’ve always thought the three were scouting the wall, seeking the names of their buddies,” Berry said. “The man on the right, M-60 machine gun at the ready, could well be assuring his friend, ‘They’re down there. If you want to take a look, I’ve got your back.’

“Even though I am a Vietnam veteran, this is not just a tribute to veterans of that war. Every veteran, no matter what war, no matter which service, knows what it means for someone to have your back … We are glad you’re here. We are proud of you and your service. You are part of our community, and we’ve got your back.”

Everyone agreed: The country wouldn’t be what it is without veterans.

“We say thank you from the bottom of our hearts,” said Rick Ellis, Brookshire’s vice president of marketing. “I’ve been with the Brookshire’s company almost 40 years, and I can say this: events like this are what we live for.”