Veterans rekindle at Fairbanks Veteran's Memorial Park for annual cookout

Local Veteran's receive their free meal at the annual Fairbanks Vet Center cookout. (Jordan...
Local Veteran's receive their free meal at the annual Fairbanks Vet Center cookout. (Jordan Rodenberger/KTVF) (KTVF)
Published: Jul. 2, 2020 at 3:58 PM AKDT
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After not being able to gather over recent months, the Fairbanks Vet Center was able to host their annual July Cook Out on Thursday, celebrating those have served our country.

At the Fairbanks Veteran's Memorial Park, "to go" plates of burgers and hot dogs were handed out, giving the veterans a chance to mingle and share with each other, for many, the first time in some while.

"COVID-19 for us, for the veteran community, it sparks a lot of depression," said Outreach Coordinator of the Fairbanks Vet Center Brad Bunnell. "No one really wants to stay into their house or their apartments all the time, but that is what we have been doing. But, if you get to come out on a sunny day, or sort of sunny day, and you get to mingle with your friends, and your circle of friends, and have a free meal... man, that is what is all about. Instead of depression you get happy, the endorphins start kicking out, and it is a good time all in all."

Standard health guidelines were followed and Fairbanks City Mayor Jim Matherly made an appearance.

Veterans enjoyed the barbecue, while reconnecting with one another once again. "It is about honoring the vets," added Bunnell "We love doing this. We would like to do more of these activities."

While it was a day to celebrate the veterans, Bunnell addressed how people can help vets in the area. "If you know any homeless vets out there, please direct them down to the Fairbanks Vet Center and I would be more than happy... in fact we are going to be excited to help coordinate and do a face-to-face connection, and hopefully save that veteran." said Bunnell.

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