Slices of Joy For Local Vets During Super Bowl Sunday
GAINESVILLE - Its Super Bowl Sunday and also America's biggest day of the year for eating pizza. However not everyone gets the chance to indulge in this guilty pleasure. Community efforts are helping bring a slice of joy to our local vets this Sunday.
Ten thousand pizzas are being given out to service men and women overseas for Super Bowl Sunday as part of the Pizza4Patriots program. However it doesn't stop there. Wounded and returning veterans back home were also part of this American tradition, including right here at the VA hospital in Gainesville.
Enjoying pizza while watching the Super Bowl is an American tradition that may be taken for granted. Think about our soldiers overseas, for them the experience may be far-fetched. This is why Pizza4Patriots along with DHL express have made it a tradition to deliver pizza to our deployed soldiers on Super Bowl Sunday.
Enough pizzas were sent out to feed every soldier stationed in Afghanistan, Kuwait and Oman. Through outreach efforts and the help of local organizations, the same can be said for our vets back home living in the VA's nursing home.
The Hampton Veterans Memorial Fund in Bradford County organized the pizza party at the VA hospital in Gainesville. The American Legion Post and VFW the Veterans of Foreign Wars also helped make this possible.
"We provide ongoing activities that provide socialization and just allow them to get together at times when family would be around where they would be enjoying those events, and we love to do that kind of stuff for them," said Paula Pringles, a recreational therapist for the VA hospital.
The most patriotic men in our area were able to enjoy America's favorite pass time with some good ol' pizza.
"Our veterans have given so much through their careers while they were in the military... We think it's really important that we take nights like tonight and celebrate their contributions to our freedom," Pringles said.
Winford Jenkins served in the U.S. Army for 8 years and while he is not picking sides for this championship.
"I am kind of neutral on that I just want to see a great game and may the best man win or actually team," Jenkins said.
One thing is for sure-- he's grateful for the gesture.
"I think it's a great thing that the VA is doing for its service members you know? I actually think it's something great. Cause we have guys here that aren't able to spend time with their families and stuff, I think it's nice we get together and have something like this," he said.
Pizza4Patriots and DHL express set a record for pizza delivery in the Guinness Book of World Records in 2012.
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