Glenwood Landing Post 336 kicked off Veterans Day festivities a little early this year. Its Let Us Remember committee sponsored a spirited night of dining and dancing to honor our veterans.
Arnold Sabino, the event chair, said the main purpose of the dinner was to thank veterans for their service in defending our freedom, as well as attract newer veterans to join the legion.
“We partner with the legion to help bridge the gap,” said Virginia Cervasio, the founder of Heroes Among Us and a committee member. The non-profit, is committed to supporting and providing hope to veterans and their families by offering assistance for everyday needs.
“This dinner is a great way to bring awareness to veterans, and what their needs are, and I like to help them any chance I get,” she said.
Retired U.S. Navy Captain Robert Bazan, of Glenwood Landing, was the guest speaker.
He spoke of why he joined the post, and added that membership is a two-way street. “You get to give back, and you also have people who are there to help you and it doesn’t matter how long you’ve served,” Bazan said. “The bond of having served goes a long way and that local support network is a nice thing to have.”
In the center of the dance floor there was an empty table. It was a symbol to honor the soldiers who are prisoners of war or missing in action.
“The committee did a phenomenal job putting together this program, and they are honored for it,” said Post Commander William Laderer.
Veterans young and old were able to enjoy the evening. “I spent 13 months with the first engineer battalion Charlie Company,” Said Richard Hartney, of Sea Cliff, who served in the Marine Corps during the Korean War. “War was something crazy, but I always felt I would serve my country to the limit.”
Hartney added that he would return to the battleground if he could, and gave his blessings to soldiers currently serving. “There needs to be more respect for our veterans, and better benefits,” he said.
Rocco Dourso, of Glen Head, served in the army during the Korean War. He said the legion’s event demonstrates the importance of honoring servicemen and women on Veterans Day and every day.
“People forget what veterans did as years go by, and this helps to remind them,” Dourso said. “It’s a great feeling to have people remember.”
Rollin Koons, recently served eight years active duty with the Marine Corps, He sees a benefit to bringing younger vets to the legion. “Being around other veterans, I feel the sense of honor that made me join, because I see that honor and pride in others,” he said. “It’s great to see veterans helping the different generations, and helping each other, to share that wealth of knowledge.”