35 members of VFW Post 3154 and its Ladies Auxiliary in Sonora, Calif., made the trek to Pickle Meadows in the Sierra Mountains, site of the Marine Corps’ Mountain Warfare Training Center (MWTC), to serve the Marines a steak dinner.
MWTC is the major source of training for Marines going to Afghanistan.
Post 3154 members grilled and served steaks to approximately 500 Marines, 120 JROTC members and 30 base civilian personnel.
The meal didn’t end with just steak; Post members provided an all-out feast. There were sautéed mushrooms and onions, baked beans, baked potatoes with all the trimmings, salad and bread. Hot dogs and hamburgers were also available as alternatives to steak. Coffee and cold drinks were included, and cake, both chocolate and vanilla, was served for dessert.
Funding for the food was provided through a grant from VFW Military Assistance Program (MAP).
"I want to personally thank MAP for helping with our project," said William Shirley, Post 3154 Adjutant. "It is such a rewarding experience. I wish more people could enjoy and experience the feeling you get serving, visiting with and just being around these Marines."
This was the Post’s second time providing the dinner. In 2009, the area experienced heavy snowfall, and the regular road to the training center was closed. Undeterred, members of the Post took a different, longer route and were able to provide the dinner.
Shirley truly enjoys doing this for the Marines and looks forward to next year’s feast. "It is such a sight to see…all the smiles, the banter…the camaraderie of the troops," he said.