On Friday, Nov. 6, at 6 p.m., veterans from across Blount County will gather at the Oneonta Worship Center for a Veterans Day dinner hosted by Operation Grateful Heart.
The annual event has been going every year since 2007 and, on average, 250 people attend, according to Lealand Venable, of Operation Grateful Heart.
“We have so many veterans pushed off to the side in this country, but Blount County is one of the most patriotic places in Alabama,” Venable said.“We try to pay back our veterans for their sacrifice and boost morale letting them know they are never forgotten while also showing our appreciation.”
Operation Grateful Heart always relies on the Blount County community to raise enough money so all veterans and their spouses attend the dinner for free.
“We have never charged a veteran,” Venable said.“We always find a way. Last year, we raised more than enough. Businesses and individuals in Blount County show a wonderful outpouring of love and respect for our veterans.”
Anyone willing to donate can call the Blount County Memorial Museum at 625- 6905 and speak with Amy Rhudy. Plates cost $25 or a donor can sponsor a table, which seats six people, for $100.
Any excess donations will go to Operation Grateful Heart which participates in other veteran-inspired activities such as the Veterans Day Parade – scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 7 – scholarships, sending care packages, buying graveside flowers, and more.