Picnic raises awareness of soldiers
Three local veterans' organizations hosted a classic picnic Saturday to raise money for wounded soldiers returning home.
"We have all these combat soldiers coming back with mental or physical wounds and they need help," said Donald Fenter, post commander of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5263. "All of the money we're raising here today goes to benefit them."
Saturday's event was hosted by VFW Post 5263, the Pershing Professionals Association and the Lawton-Fort Sill Sergeant Majors Association. The money was donated to the Wounded Warrior Transition Unit, which helps soldiers returning from combat readjust to domestic life and cope with their injuries be they physical or mental. This is the second year the groups organized a picnic and Fenter said turnout was great, right up until the rain started falling.
"We had a lot of people out here and then they all left when it started raining," he said. "They're coming back now that the sun is out. We had this last July and it rained on us then, so we thought we would bump it up to June this year, thinking we were out of the rainy season. We were wrong."
The rain, which began around the noon hour, moved out by 2 p.m., giving way to sunny skies and high humidity. People began returning, lining up for a a plate of brisket and hot dogs. Four local bands performed on stage throughout the afternoon with karaoke sessions in between sets. Children played numerous games and bounced around in several inflatable play areas. Several vintage automobiles were on display, giving younger generations an opportunity to get an up close look at automobile history.