Veterans Agent Stephen Roy, right, speaks with a veteran on Friday.
NORTH ADAMS, Mass. — With the summer ramping up and the pandemic ramping down, local veterans thought it was the right time to get together for a "revenge picnic."
"We like to have these annual barbeques for the veterans and folks that we serve," North County Veterans Agent Stephen Roy said Friday at the Greylock Club's pavilion. "We missed it last year so this is a bit of a revenge picnic."
Roy said they like to hold a few of these get-togethers a year but with the pandemic, his meetings with area veterans have been limited to one-on-ones.
"It is just so good to get everyone together to have some good times," he said. "The guys get together and start talking. There is a lot of camaraderie, and it gives us the chance to help out some people."
The event was for the Veteran Chapter 115 Recipients and their families. The donations came from The Hansen family who’s brother was a Chapter 115 veteran recipient.
Roy pointed to his truck and trailer that he said had been loaded with donations at the beginning of the day.
"I am glad to see it," he said of the mostly empty trailer. "It was really close to the ground. Now it is higher up. It was full of food."
There were more than 100 area veterans, and family members, at the picnic throughout the afternoon. After manning the grill, Roy could be seen bouncing around the pavilion catching up with clients, who at this point are more like friends.
The picnic was truly a group effort. Veteran Services Administrative Assistant Tina Samson lead the organization effort. She bagged the food donations and collected over 30 gift cards for giveaways. Samson's husband David also helped run the grill.
The Wilk family also donated funds to help support the picnic.
The scenery was also quite nice. Roy said the picnic some years was held indoors
"It was nice of the Greylock Club to help us out," he said. "It is nice to be spread out outdoors. There is a nice little breeze coming through."
Roy said there is always someone to follow up with or someone else he can help.
"There is some outreach here too," he said. "A lot of people don't want to take anything. I hear that all of the time. That is what we are here for. Let me reach into the cookie jar for you."
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