In 2010, Soddy-Daisy resident WV Roberson chose to honor local veterans on Veterans Day by organizing a free meal for those who had or were actively serving, and First Baptist Church in Soddy-Daisy has hosted the event annually ever since. Although Roberson passed away earlier this year, his wife Linda along with Roy Rector and the church are continuing what has become a community tradition.
"This was his way of saying thank you to veterans for serving our country and to those who are still serving," Linda Roberson said of her late husband, a Korean War veteran himself. "He wanted this to continue and I told him I would do my best."
Food for the free meal — ham and chicken, green beans, creamed potatoes, corn, slaw and a choice of multiple desserts — is donated by local restaurants, prepared by women from the church and served by community volunteers.
This year's meal will be served at the church Saturday, Nov. 11 from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. It is free for veterans and $5 for their guests.
Roberson said she plans to continue to plan the event for as long as the church continues to provide its support. A $500 donation from NewsChannel 9, which featured her on its "Pay it Forward" segment in June, also helped with this year's event, added Roberson.
First Baptist Church, Soddy-Daisy, is at 10185 Dayton Pike and can be reached at 332-2814.