On Tuesday, November 11, the SaddleBrooke Ranch Social Committee and La Hacienda Club sponsored a pancake breakfast in the activities tent, attended by more than 95 people, to honor the veterans who are residents of SaddleBrooke Ranch. All the veterans were treated to a free breakfast by Robson Communities including pancakes, sausages, coffee, orange juice and fresh fruit. And no veteran had to pull kitchen police (KP) duty. KP services were provided by La Hacienda Club staff led by Mary LaCompte, Bistro Viente kitchen manager, with the help of Dani Herbert, Bistro Viente assistant supervisor. Some of the veterans felt like they were home again since breakfast was served in a tent reminiscent of the old “mess” tent. Tim Fudge, corporate director of facilities for Robson Communities, authorized the purchase of a griddle to make the pancakes for the breakfast.
According to Carol Smith, SaddleBrooke Ranch social committee chairman, the idea of a Veterans Day celebration began many months ago at a meeting of the newly formed social committee. Andrea Marchus, administration and facilities coordinator for SaddleBrooke Ranch and the Robson representative on the social committee, suggested that the Veterans Day celebration be a breakfast. The committee members really became excited about the activity since it would be something they could do to honor residents of SaddleBrooke Ranch. Carol Smith found people both from the social committee and outside the committee to help with the event.
Carol Andrews volunteered to prepare a display of veteran pictures as they appeared when they were serving their country. Just getting the pictures was difficult enough; but Carol also spent much time editing and then printing each picture for the Honor Board. With the help of Kerstin Seifert they mounted the pictures to the board. This board was on display during the breakfast and in the lobby of La Hacienda Club after Veterans Day. Carol also requested some basic information. Based upon this information all of the veterans have served our country for a total of 622 years, with 19 from the Army, 19 from the Air Force, 15 from the Navy and five from the Marines. Twenty veterans could consider the military a good portion of their careers since they served from 11 to 36 years on active duty.
Another SaddleBrooke Ranch group that was very involved in the celebration was the SaddleBrooke Ranch Paper Crafting Club whose co-chairmen are Chris Nunamaker and Cheri Utsler. The club meets weekly and works on scrapbooks, paper stamps, invitations and cards. When the club members heard about the veterans celebration they were very interested in providing help. What resulted was one very special thank you card for each veteran.
Many felt that the breakfast, the honor board and the thank you cards represented a genuine thank you to the veterans. Some spouses, who travelled together during their other spouses’ military service, actually had tears in their eyes. All agreed that the celebration was the first true appreciation that they as veterans received for their military service to their country.