Veterans Day breakfast for heroes

The 2011 Veterans Appreciation Breakfast held at the FortHamilton Community Club on the army base on November 7, didn’t justhonor those who served our country in military operations aroundthe world, but also highlighted four former soldiers making adifference closer to home.

We decided because we’re a community group thanking theveterans, we wanted to make it community oriented, [honoring those]who not only helped their countries but also their communities,said Fran Vella-Marrone, co-chair of the Veterans AppreciationBreakfast Committee (VABC), which organized the event.

The honorees included Howard Dunn; a WWII veteran; AndrewSichenze, a veteran of the Korean War; Andy Manicone, injured as asoldier in the Vietnam War; and David Ryan, active in recentmilitary operations in Iraq. The awards feature a bald eagleperched atop a plaque and are inscribed with the words: Inrecognition of your distinguished service and devotion to ourcountry and community.

Brooklyn is a better place because of people like Howie Dunn,Andrew Sichenze, Andy Mannicone and David Ryan, said keynotespeaker and Gulf War veteran Congressmember Michael Grimm.

But as Grimm pointed out, the breakfast — which drew over 100attendees — celebrates the service of all American soldiers.

It is an honor to be a part of this event where we can show ourappreciation and respect for anyone that has put on the uniform andserved our country, he said.

This was the third appreciation breakfast the VABC has held, butthe first time the organization chose to honor individual veterans.Vella-Marrone says she plans to make the breakfast an annual event,a sign of the organization’s unwavering support for militarypersonnel past and present.

I can’t think of anything that’s more important than honoringour veterans, honoring the people that are our backbone, shesaid.

The Home Reporter and Brooklyn Spectator wereamong the event’s sponsors. Other sponsors included The BayRidge Eagle

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