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COA hosting Veterans Day lunch

Edwardsburg Argus - 11/9/2017

Nov. 09--On Saturday, many Americans will spend the day honoring veterans by remembering all that veterans have done for this country and the sacrifices they have made.

On the Friday before, the Cass County Council on Aging will honor veterans by filling their stomachs.

The COA will offer a free lunch to veterans on Friday, Nov. 10. The lunch will take place from 11:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. at the Lowe Center in Cassopolis and 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the COA's Front Street Crossing location in Dowagiac. The meal will consist of Swiss steak with mashed potatoes, including sides and desserts.

"It's just a free lunch, but we hope that veterans will appreciate it," said organizer Sandi Hoger.

This will be the fourth year that the COA has hosted a free lunch for veterans on Veterans Day.

The free lunch was originally inspired by Bob Cochrane, CEO of the COA, as he is a former veteran himself.

"I guess it's fair to say that I inspired it," said Cochrane, who served in the military in the 1970s. "I don't think of myself that way, but I do think it was my idea."

Cochrane said the Veterans Day lunch started out small in 2014, the first year the COA hosted it, and that it has grown from there.

Now, more people sign up for the lunch and attend, which Cochrane said pleases him.

"We've always tried to maintain a good relationship with the veterans, which is why we decided to do this," he said. "It's the veterans who serve this country, maintain this country and keep it going the right way. They help us preserve our freedoms, so I'm glad that we can do this for them."

Being a veteran himself, Cochrane said the lunch the COA will provide is something that he would want someone to do for him.

Due to his own experiences, he said that he uniquely understands why Veterans Day is important and why people should take the day to show respect for those who have served the country.

"Veterans have given generously of themselves in so many ways," Cochrane said. "For the country to recognize that sacrifice is something we have to do. We have to tell them that we recognize their service and value their service, and that we thank them for all that they have done."

Though Cochrane said the lunch is only a small thing that the COA can do to recognize those sacrifices, both he and Hoger hope that veterans will come out and enjoy the lunch.

"It's what we can do to support our veterans on [Veterans Day]," Hoger said.

The COA requests that veterans call ahead to reserve a place at the lunch. To do so, call (269) 445-8110.

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(c)2017 the Edwardsburg Argus, Mich.

Visit the Edwardsburg Argus, Mich. at http://leaderpub.com/category/news/edwardsburg

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