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Annual breakfast is a big salute to local veterans

BRANDON-Last year's salute to Brandon resident Orin Mitchell, an enlisted U.S. Marine, kicked off a salute to U.S. veterans that now returns for a second, even bigger annual celebration. The Breakfast for the Veterans event will be held at the Brandon American Legion Post 55, July 24, starting at 8 a.m.

The event is organized by Andy and Becky Mitchell of Brandon, the parents of Orin Mitchell.

"This event is a fulfillment of a dream," Andy Mitchell said. Mitchell was a member of the U.S Army for 14 years.

"We started out honoring Orin and turned into a wider salute to our area veterans," he said. "Local veterans such as Ted Ketcham, Arron Tucker, Ernie Kish, and a dozen more, came out for last year's breakfast. We were honored to have them present."

Mitchell said this year's response was a surprise-a very nice surprise.

Over 127 local businesses have donated food and other items to the upcoming breakfast. Mitchell noted that a dozen or so volunteers from Addison and Rutland counties will work behind the scenes to help prepare for the big breakfast.

The traditional, free breakfast is bound to please veterans of nostalgic military chow lines, Mitchell said, a place for friends and community.

"Our buffet line will serve up pancakes, sausages, bagels, eggs, ham, coffee and much more," he added.

"We have a very dedicated volunteer breakfast crew," Mitchell said, "including Debbie and Rick Oberkirch, Sally Forrest, George Mitchell, Don Crighton, Al Pockette, Ray Mitchell, Fred Pockette and others."

Mitchell said Dick Fossy, acting as event "chaplain", will start the breakfast with a prayer and blessing.

Mitchell said he expecting up to 200 guests, including veterans, at the July 24 event.

"We were overwhelmed by the support in the community," he said.

Mitchell said World War II era memorabilia will be on display including several vintage military vehicles.

All food leftovers will be donated first to local vets and then to area food shelves, according to Mitchell.

The public is invited. You don't have to be a veteran to show your support for local vets," Mitchell added.

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