On Sunday, February 10th, 2013 the United War Veterans Council visited Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn, New York on the latest stop of their 2013 Goodwill Caravan Series. The Marines of 6th Communication Battalion, who were on deck for their Drill Weekend, were presented with handmade Valentine’s Day Cards, food, gifts and entertainment to help them celebrate the Valentine’s season.
The purpose of UWVC’s annual Goodwill Caravan Series is to let our service members, veterans, and wounded warriors know they are loved and appreciated during a holiday that is typically not associated with veterans. LTC. Josh Keisler, Commanding Officer of the 6th Comm Battalion, had this to say of UWVC’s visit, “My Marines have deployed [and] they’ve returned from either Afghanistan or Iraq so to have you all come in and do this for us, it means the world to us and it is something that we never expected but we are very happy to have you.”
The event started with a welcome from UWVC Executive Director, Pat Gaultieri who told the gathered Marines and Sailors that, “These are cards written by children and adults for the Marines and Sailors…and it’s a real expression of the fact that we not only remember you at…Veterans Day, but all year round. So Valentine’s Day is really an unconditional love day, and that’s why we’re here.”
Jessica Bryan, founder of “Step Into Their Boots,” an outreach program for local community youth to honor fallen service members, spoke next. Along with outlining the function of her youth group she read a pledge to the Marines and Sailors present reaffirming her and her young cadet’s support of our service members and veterans.
While the Marines were very appreciative of UWVC’s support and admiration it wasn’t until the next act came up that the normally reserved and disciplined aura of the Marine was replaced by pure happiness and commotion. This was, of course, because the American Bombshells hit the stage to perform. Led by Founder and President Ali “Kat” Bertash, these talented and beautiful pin-up sirens sang and danced their way into the hearts of everyone present. Ali, had this to say of the event, “We love the Marines… to be here with the Marines for Valentine’s Day is really a treat because Valentine’s Day is a time where you can show your love for somebody and remind them that they are special to you” The American Bombshells have dedicated themselves to entertaining our service members, veterans and wounded warriors. You can learn more about them at their website.
The day concluded on a serious note, as the Marines were given a short history lesson on the Montfort Point Marines-the first black Marines to be enlisted into the Corps after President Roosevelt issued Executive Order 8802 banning the Federal Government from withholding employment based on race. The Marines of 6thCommunication Battalion then signed a poster that will be presented to a group of the Montfort Point Marines at an African-American History Month event to be hosted by the NYC Mayor’s office later this month.
The Goodwill Caravan would like to thank their sponsors History Channel, U-Haul, HBO, and United War Veterans Council’s Recycling. Without their continual support, none of this would be possible. Additional contributors include FOX5, NBC Universal, FDNY, and the Stephen Siller Foundation.