Boatsie's Boxes Inc. and Cabela's will partner this Saturday to host a special day to support and honor members of the U.S. military.
"Honor our Military" and "Operation Beat the Heat" will kick off at 9:30 a.m. with the landing of a Black Hawk helicopter near the Cabela's store at The Highlands in Ohio County, followed by various activities scheduled from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. An "Honor Our Troops" ceremony is scheduled for 1 p.m.
The ceremony will begin with the arrival of the Patriot Guard Riders and feature U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Walter A. Booker as the guest speaker. Booker grew up in Preston County, W.Va., and entered active service in 1996. He is in charge of the intensive care unit at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio, where he has been stationed for 13 years.
Photo by Scott McCloskey
Preparing for a special day to support and honor the U.S. military Saturday at the Cabela’s store at The Highlands in Ohio County are, from front left, Wheeling Vet Center Outreach Specialist Michael Novotney; Marine Recruiter Sgt. Kyle Kulcczyk; Gail Van Vranken, founder of Boatsie’s Boxes Inc.; U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Richard Zimmerman; Army National Guard Chief Warrant Officer Robert McClure; Theresa McClure; and Emily Loh. Back row from left, U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Daniel Weitz; VFW District 1 Commander Robert Kish; and Janell Loh.
He has served as an Aerospace Medical Services specialist and instructor and has deployed to multiple locations in support of contingency and humanitarian operations as a combat medic.
In addition, there will be an introduction and recognition of military troops and veterans during the ceremony. Local musician Rachel Beck will sing the national anthem and several patriotic selections.
As part of "Operation Beat the Heat," a number of items needed by military personnel to help them beat the heat will be available for purchase at the local Cabela's store. The items can be donated by placing them in barrels, which will be positioned outside the store's entrance. The items will then be sent to troops serving in Afghanistan through Boatsie's Boxes.
"The Honor Our Troops ceremony ... is a way for us to say thank you to the men and women who have served and are currently serving our country in the military," said Gail Van Vranken, founder of Boatsie's Boxes. "It's so important for us to honor our troops and show them how grateful we are for what they are doing to protect our freedom."
Van Vranken said this is the ninth year for the "Support Our Troops" event, and the second year it has been held at Cabela's. She said each branch of the military will be represented during the day's events, and she expects more than 100 military personnel to participate with a variety of military vehicles on display throughout the day.
"It's a wonderful showcase for the troops. ... It really is an event. There is something for everybody, " she added.
Activities for children will include inflatables and face painting. Free hot dogs and drinks will be provided by Cabela's. Raffle tickets can be purchased for a 50-50 drawing, a $2,000 Cabela's gift card and a $750 Kroger gift card.
For more information on Operation Beat the Heat, call 304-232-5277 or 304-243-0675 or visit the website www.boatsie.com.