Biloxi Elks Lodge serves up lunch for area veterans - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

Biloxi Elks Lodge serves up lunch for area veterans

A total of 82 vets were served lunch on Saturday. (Photo source: WLOX) A total of 82 vets were served lunch on Saturday. (Photo source: WLOX)
The annual cookout is part of a larger national program to take care of veterans. (Photo source: WLOX) The annual cookout is part of a larger national program to take care of veterans. (Photo source: WLOX)
BILOXI, MS (WLOX) -

A gloomy day outside couldn't shut down the annual Biloxi Elks Lodge Veterans Cookout.

Elks Lodge 606 cooked up sausages, baked beans, and potatoes for area veterans at the Biloxi VA Recreation center on Saturday.

For Marine Corp veteran, John Vanek, taking care of vets is the number one priority.

"As long as there are veterans, the Elks will never forget them," said Vanek, a member of the Elks. "They enjoy it. Every time they know we're out here, they love it. They love us coming out here and we love coming out and doing it."

The annual cookout is part of a larger national program to take care of veterans.

"We get a grant from the grand lodge, a $2,000 grant which we use just for this function where we have a barbecue," said Vanek, "We feed them, we give them chip books, and we also give them clothing that the injured veterans need. We'll give it to the counselors and they hand it out."

Vets like Roderick Reed and Daniel Dresser feel the love from the Elks.

"It feels great to be appreciated," said Dresser. "The Elks lodge 606 is doing an outstanding job giving back to the homeless veterans."

The Biloxi Elks Lodge also holds a Thanksgiving dinner at the VA, along with monthly events.

"We have the veterans bingo. Our VA unit goes out every third Wednesday of the month, comes out here and they bring pizza, cakes, cookies, drinks, and they have a good time with the veterans." said Vanek.

A total of 82 veterans, along with about 50 VA staff members, enjoyed the lunch on Saturday. 

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