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Armory site of two upcoming events for vets
First is Saturday, second Monday
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Forsyth County News

If you’re going

The Ingram’s Funeral Home veterans’ luncheon event is set for noon to 3 p.m. Saturday. The Red Cross event will be 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Monday. Both events will be at the National Guard Cumming Regional Readiness Center, 100 Aquatic Circle in Cumming.

Local veterans are invited to two separate events in upcoming days at the National Guard Cumming Regional Readiness Center.

Ingram’s Funeral Home, in partnership with many other local businesses, will present the first event from noon to 3 p.m. Saturday. The second event, put on by the American Red Cross, is set for 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Monday.

Elizabeth Mitchell, director of community relations at Ingram’s, said the business wanted to present an event to honor veterans since it is part of a network of funeral homes that take special care of their needs.

“We are part of a nationwide group of independently owned funeral homes that belong to a thing called Veterans’ Funeral Care,” she said. “These funeral homes have banned together to make sure that veterans are taken care of when they die and that they get all of their VA benefits they’re due.

“We were looking for a way to tell the veterans around here ‘thank you for your service.’”

As a result, the free Saturday lunch event was born. It quickly received much support from other local businesses.

“It seemed like they all wanted to help so the event grew and grew,” Mitchell said. “We sent out invitations to all the area veterans groups and we’re expecting around 400 people.”

Mitchell said any local veteran is welcome to come to the armory for a barbecue lunch and program that will figure several high-level military officials. Many elected officials have also been invited.

Tours of the armory, which opened earlier this year on Aquatic Circle, also will be offered.

On Monday, the American Red Cross event will also feature a free meal for veterans.

The event is open to all veterans, active duty personnel and reserve members of the military and their families.

Joni Smith, executive director of the organization’s Northeast Georgia chapter, said in a statement that it was “a way for us at the Red Cross to thank and pay tribute to the men and women in our area who have served our nation honorably.”

The program will include a presentation from Remington Youngblood, founder of Change 4 Georgia, a community service program he started as a fifth grader.

The organization helps provide servicemen and women with everyday supplies as well as items from “wish lists.”

Those planning to attend the Red Cross event should R.S.V.P. at (770) 532-8453 by Monday afternoon with the number of guests and what branch of the military is being represented.