On Saturday, May 15, Mission BBQ hosted "Lunch with the Heroes" at its Perry Hall location. This event, held in conjunction with National Armed Forces Day, offered both active and retired service members the chance to enjoy lunch together. Since its creation by President Harry Truman in 1949, Armed Forces Day has served as an opportunity for communities across America to honor those who serve in all five branches of our military.
The dining room at Mission BBQ was filled to capacity at lunchtime. At noon, Lt. Peter Smith, who presently serves in the U.S. Marine Corps, sang the national anthem, continuing a long-standing restaurant tradition. Immediately thereafter, restaurant co-founders Bill Kraus and Steve Newton presented a check for over $20,000 as a donation to the Wounded Warrior Project. This is the second year that the Mission BBQ family facilitated a donation in support of this worthy cause.
According to Newton, the fund-raising effort represents "just a small way for us to serve those who have served and protected us so well." He also noted that the Wounded Warrior Project is an important organization in that it helps to provide for the safety and security of a growing number of American veterans.
During the ceremony, co-founder Bill Kraus indicated that there are presently over 50,000 wounded veterans, 300,000 suffering from some form of traumatic brain injury, and more than 400,000 with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
In thanking Mission BBQ for its generous financial support, Owen O'Shea from the Wounded Warrior Project stated that the donation would help his organization to "raise awareness about what is actually going on with our honored veterans." In addition to providing direct services to wounded warriors, the organization has grant-funded 45 different organizations, totaling more than $3 million. These grants help other local organizations to serve returning service members.