Special family event planned for returning soldiersWhen retired United States Army National Guard recruiter Denny Picconato returned home from serving time as an enlisted soldier in Vietnam during the 1960s, there were no cheering throngs, no parade down Main Street, no signs of welcome.
By: Wendy Johnson, Pine Journal
When retired United States Army National Guard recruiter Denny Picconato returned home from serving time as an enlisted soldier in Vietnam during the 1960s, there were no cheering throngs, no parade down Main Street, no signs of welcome.
Perhaps that is why Picconato and a host of other military personnel and supporters are so adamant that today’s deployed soldiers be welcomed home with open arms and generous hearts.
“I want to make sure our vets are taken care of,” said Picconato.
Picconato and other members of the Crazy Troop Appreciation Committee are currently helping to raise support and money to treat the 130 members of the Cloquet-based Crazy Troop of the U.S. Army National Guard’s 1st Squadron, 94th Cavalry, to a family evening out, tentatively scheduled for sometime in December.
Picconato said the event will be for soldiers as well as their spouses and children and will be held at the Holiday Inn in Duluth. The event will feature swimming, free babysitting, dinner, dancing and a hospitality room hosted by members of area veterans’ organizations, including the VFW, the American Legion and the Disabled American Veterans and their auxiliaries.
In the months leading up to that time, the committee is soliciting funds to help defray the cost of the family event for the recently returned soldiers, who were deployed to the Middle East for the past year. All donors of $100 or more will have their names added to an engraved list to be featured in Veterans Park alongside those who contributed to the last such event in 2006, following the return of the Cloquet-based 216th Echo Company, 88th Air Defense Artillery. They will also receive a personalized photo of the local Crazy Troop unit, taken while in Afghanistan, to hang on the wall of their home or office.
For more information or to make a donation, contact Picconato at 218-390-6056 or lead volunteer Stan Bednarek at 218-591-0930.