It can be tough to be far away from home in an unfamiliar place.
It can be even tougher when you’re about to deploy with the military.
Early next month, the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 4639 in James City County will give a group of about 75 Navy reservists a piece of home while they’re training at Cheatham Annex.
On Sept 6, the VFW post will host a homemade spaghetti dinner for the reservists, complete with desserts made by VFW auxiliary members, said VFW member and former post commander Ken Shannon.
“We’re really looking … to say ‘Here are the things the VFW does,’” Shannon said. “We want to show more about the VFW and how we help the community and our fellow veterans.
The reservists are set to arrive shortly before Sept. 6, Shannon said.
After they spend a month or two at Cheatham Annex, the reservists will all be deployed to various areas both in-country and around the world, Shannon said. The reservists are cargo-handlers with the Navy Expeditionary Logistics Support Group at Cheatham Annex, which handles surface, air, and terminal operations, tactical fueling, and ordnance handling and reporting, according to the group website.
A public affairs officer for the Navy Expeditionary Logistics Support Group was not immediately available to give additional information.
Shannon said this is the third dinner of its type hosted by the local VFW for Navy reservists. One of the local VFW members retired from a career at Cheatham Annex and suggested the VFW start putting on homestyle dinners for cargo-handlers.
Reservists are deployed every six months or so from Cheatham Annex, some of whom go to conflict zones.
There aren’t many things to do at Cheatham Annex for food and activities, Shannon said, so the dinner can help lighten up the experience.
“It’s kind of a refreshing thing,” Shannon said.
Post 4639 coordinates with the national VFW to get reimbursement for the costs of putting on the dinner through the Military Assistance Program.
According to the national VFW website, the Military Assistance Program aids both military members and their families.
“Our members offer support to the military community in many different ways, whether that means helping military families get through long deployments or hosting send-off and welcome home events,” the website reads.