American Legion lunches allow vets to share stories, connect


By Renee Larr

American Legion Post 155 in Carmel wants to help veterans by holding monthly lunches to help them share their stories.



“These lunches are really to bring veterans together. We’re trying to make the veterans aware of other veterans’ circumstances – what they went through. They come in, meet each other and build those relationships,” said Janet Emerson, American Legion volunteer. “We also ask them if they have any needs or if they know anyone with needs. We actually match them up with those resources. It’s about building camaraderie. We have a lot of veterans that come to lunch, and surprisingly, they want to get up and tell their story.”

The lunches have been going on for about a year and a half and are sponsored by Great Lakes Care and Hospice. They occur at noon on the second Friday of each month at  American Legion in Carmel, 852 W. Main St.

“Guests can order off the menu at the American Legion. Each month, we have a guest speaker. The last speaker was from the homeless veterans organization in Indianapolis, and our chairman at our legion was also speaking,” said Bob Beck, commander of American Legion Post 155. “We’ve had speakers associated with World War II. We meet and greet all the different veterans that come in. Sometimes, we go around and let them introduce themselves. It’s just really special.”



Veterans of any age are welcome to attend the events.

“We do other things that are fun, but also we identify resources. We want them to know we care about them,” Emerson said. “It also teaches them to stop in and do more with the Legion. There are a lot of veterans out there that don’t know when to come or what to do. I just really felt this was so important that I felt I needed to devote more time to it. I come from a long family of veterans, so it’s very dear to my heart.”

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