Eight hundred and fifty American flags are placed throughout Soddy-Daisy to lead locals to Soddy-Daisy First Baptist Church.
On Nov. 10 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., veterans can drive behind the church to the gym to receive a free meal. Transportation will be provided from the parking lot in front of the church to the gym in back.
The gesture is to thank them for serving their country. Four hundred veterans attended the event last year. This year the goal is to have 450 veterans.
"Seventy-plus World War II veterans will be here sitting in a special section," said event organizer W V Roberson, a Korean War vet, adding that veterans of all wars and even civilians are also welcome. "The Soddy-Daisy High School Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps will help with a sword salute for veterans. We will hand out thank you notes to veterans from local students too."
The gym will be decked out in patriotic red, white and blue decorations. The food is being provided by local businesses. Roberson said veterans will receive a plate of chicken, ham, green beans, cream potatoes, coleslaw, a dessert and a soft drink. Non-veterans will pay $4 for a plate to attend the event to watch their veteran friends be honored.
Vietnam Veterans Chapter 203 Honor Guard member Charles Ingle, who served in the U.S. Air Force for four years, will be present to assist with the event. In the last four years he has served in the 21-gun salute at 600-plus military funerals.
Roberson served in the Hawk Missile Unit from 1960-1961 in Korea. He finished his duty in the military in 1962. His job was to help guard the border between North Korea and South Korea. He also served as a mail clerk and driver.
"The military means more to me now than it ever did," said Roberson. "I understand that World War II established freedom."
He said citizens should back the military and thank veterans for their service.
Veteran meal volunteer James Martin was unable to serve in the military for medical reasons, but said his grandson, Travis Martin, of Soddy-Daisy, is serving with fellow U.S. Marines in Afghanistan at present.
To learn more, contact Roberson at 332-2823.