Veterans, families invited to BBQ/picnic at local church

They bravely and selflessly served their country on land, sea and air during times of war and peace at home and around the globe.
Now, it’s their turn to be served, so fire up the grill and pass the potato salad.
Area military veterans and their family members are invited to attend the Seventh Annual Veterans BBQ/Picnic on Saturday, July 7 at LakePoint Community Church (formerly Christ the King) in Oxford Township.
“They can just show up. They don’t need to RSVP,” said organizer Bob ten Bosch, a Vietnam War veteran who leads the church’s Veterans Ministry.
Sponsored by LakePoint’s Veterans Ministry and Vietnam Veterans of America (VVA) Oakland County Chapter 133, this FREE event will run from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. The church is located at 1550 W. Drahner Rd.
“We’re very proud and humbled to be able to do such a thing,” said ten Bosch, who was in the U.S. Navy from 1966-70 and served aboard the USS Hancock.
The BBQ/picnic will include plenty of food, games, door prizes, live music, line dancing and vintage vehicles displayed by the Oakleaf Region Model A Restorers Club and Flaming Pistons Car Club of Michigan.
“My favorite part is seeing the smiles on the veterans’ faces,” ten Bosch said. “One happy veteran makes the whole day for me.”
Being a Vietnam veteran, ten Bosch noted “a lot of the guys that came home” from that war ended up dealing with a host of mental and physical health issues stemming from things such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and exposure to Agent Orange, a blend of herbicides sprayed by the U.S. military from 1962-71 to remove the trees and dense tropical foliage that provided cover for enemy forces.
“I was blessed to be able to come home with no issues,” he said.
That’s part of the reason why ten Bosch helps organize this BBQ/picnic year after year.
“I feel (like) I need to do something to help our vets out,” he said.
Between 100 and 120 homeless veterans from various Detroit-area shelters are once again expected to attend and enjoy an afternoon of food, fun and fellowship.
“The most rewarding part for me is making a veteran feel good for a day, especially the guys that are in homeless shelters. They’re dear to our hearts,” ten Bosch said.
He loves being able to bring them to Oxford to enjoy LakePoint Community Church’s 40-acre property with its frontage on both Long and Cedar lakes.
Ten Bosch anticipates 400 people attending this year’s BBQ/picnic.
“That includes everybody – homeless vets, local vets and their families, and volunteers,” he said. “We probably have about 70 volunteers from the church that help put this thing on. We’re extremely grateful for them.”
For more information, please contact ten Bosch by sending an email to bob@tenbosch.com or calling (248) 417-2451.

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