BROCTON — The PFC Joseph P. Dwyer Peer to Peer Support Project hosted a picnic for veterans and their families at the American Legion John W. Dill Post 434 in Brocton.
The event included food, music, children’s games, corn hole, baskets giveaways and a grand prize of a $500 fire pit that was donated by Jamestown Plastics in Brocton.
In addition to the festivities, John W. Dill Post 434 and the Chautauqua County Dwyer Project honored two World War II veterans — John Zanghi, who resides in Brocton, and Dan Somerfelt of Silver Creek — who received hand-crafted blankets that were donated by Violet Jasinski of Brocton. Zanghi and Somerfelt both served in the United States Navy throughout the Pacific Region during World War II. In addition, many Korean War and Vietnam War Veterans were honored with lap throws that were crafted and donated by local crafters.
Tina Henderson, a 31-year Air Force veteran and guest speaker, spoke of the “History of Women in the Military.” Henderson reflected on the women who served unnoticed throughout military history. In honor of women veterans around the nation, she recommended that everyone be aware of June 12 which is Women Veteran’s Day to honor women who have served and who currently serve in the United States military. The Women’s Armed Services Act was signed into law on June 12, 1948, by President Harry S. Truman and allowed women to become permanent and regular members of the Armed Forces.
Some of the sponsors of this event included John W. Dill Post 434, Jamestown Plastics, Montes Small Engine Repair, St. Columban’s on the Lake and Kirk’s Jewelers. Many more sponsors and donations were collected throughout the community to help raise funds for a newly designated scholarship fund.
As a result of local community support, the Dwyer Scholarship, in memory of PFC Joseph Dwyer, US Army Combat Medic, raised more than $2,000 for scholarships that will be open to any Chautauqua County resident who wishes to pursue a degree in the medical or mental health field.