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Vets watch Army-Navy game at Funkstown Post 211

Group hosts several dozen veterans bussed from Martinsburg VA Medical Center

December 11, 2010|DAN KAUFFMAN | kauffman@herald-mail.com

FUNKSTOWN — “Stand Navy down the field, sails set to the sky. We'll never change our course, so Army, you steer shy!”

No more than a couple of seconds after a touchdown gave Navy a 10-0 lead over Army in the 111th football gamebetween the military teams Saturday, Alvin Fisher made his allegiances known to all who were in the ballroom at Funkstown Post 211 by singing the opening lines of the Navy fight song.

“I need to get back on that bus and have some bragging rights for a weekend ... or at least until Sunday when my Redskins lose,” said Fisher, a Navy veteran who served at Pearl Harbor in Hawaii. “I got out right before Desert Storm.”

Fisher was one of several dozen veterans who were bussed from the Martinsburg VA Medical Center to Funkstown for the game. They were served a meal before the game and dessert at halftime.

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“We put this on every year as our small way to say, ‘Thank you’ to the veterans,” said Matt Smith, Commander of Funkstown's Sons of the American Legion group that hosted the event for the third straight year.

“These guys love it because it gets them out of the hospital for a day. We feed them good and just enjoy the day.”

It's an event that resonates with veterans like Terry Lemon, who served in the Army and also made the bus trip to Funkstown.

“It's kind of made me proud to be thought of and appreciated. It re-enhances the real reason you went into the military,” Lemon said. “I'm not into the sports thing, but I enjoy the bonding. The food was great and the hospitality — the way they treated us — you can tell they were very sincere about it. They're very down-to-earth people.”

“I like meeting these vets. They only get a chance to get out every so often,” said Funkstown Legion member Charlie Morris, 77, who served in the Navy during the Korean War. The event was made possible by donations from The United States Naval Academy, Outback Steakhouse, Hollywood Casino at Charles Town Races, Martin's Potato Chips and Little Debbie Snacks.

“I can't thank those guys enough,” Smith said. “I'm thankful we have so many friends who are in a position to help us.”

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