MEDINA — Veterans from assisted living facilities in Medina were invited to the spring luncheon for veterans at the Medina County Veterans Hall, 620 N. Broadway St.
There were about 45 veterans on hand for a fried chicken lunch. They came from Western Reserve Masonic Community, Brookdale North and South, Elmcroft and The Avenue.
“It’s a tradition,” Veterans Hall President Phill Grassa said Tuesday.
“This is one of our most gratifying events. We made a pledge to the donors who allowed us to raise $500,000 to modernize the hall back in 2016 that we’d hold this luncheon for our fellow veterans.”
This is the third year they brought the veterans in from all over the city.
Medina Mayor Dennis Hanwell was the keynote speaker and said he didn’t get the honor of serving his country.
“I did the next best thing,” he said. “I went into public service.”
Hanwell said he’s in his 10th year as mayor and safety director. Previously, he was Medina’s police chief.
He attempted to join the armed forces once he got out of high school, but was told he wasn’t eligible.
Hanwell, a Type 1 diabetic since he was 5 years old, is insulin-dependent.
“I want to help veterans any way I can,” he said.
Grassa said he wants to recruit veterans and their families to the Veterans Hall.
“I want to make this home for all of the veterans,” he said. “We’re here for you.”
John White, 84, is an Army veteran who lives at Brookdale North. He said he fought in the Korean War.
He said he came to the luncheon last year and enjoyed himself. The veterans said it’s a chance to get out and meet other veterans.
“It’s one of the biggest moments (of the year),” White said.