Holiday treat for veterans, prizes, food, camaraderie

CANTON – Caroline McGarvey enlisted in the Army, hoping to spare a family man elsewhere from being drafted. Roy Martin dropped out of the Air Force after 10 years because he was missing too many big moments in his daughter’s development.

They and about 400 other veterans came to the Memorial Civic Center on Wednesday for the annual veterans Christmas dinner. The event has been sponsored by the Veterans Administration Outpatient Clinic in Canton since 1984.

“Everybody here’s my friend,” said Terry Pickard, 53, of Canton, an Army helicopter technician from 1971-74. “From one veteran to another.

Dick Waltenbaugh, 83, of Jackson Township meets up with three buddies at the dinner every year. He was with the Army Air Corps from 1943-46 and fought in the Pacific theater in Saipan, Guam and Okinawa.

“The camaraderie with the veterans” brings him back every year, he said. “And you get a good meal, some prizes and a ham. It’s a nice time.”

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