Grand Traverse County Veterans Honored with Special Lunch at Serra Traverse City

With Memorial Day on Monday, a business in Traverse City is honoring veterans in their own way.

ImageSerra Traverse City held their annual Veterans Appreciation Lunch for veterans and their families on Wednesday afternoon.

“We’ve done this every year for a number of years, with exception of the last two,” said Serra Traverse City General Sales Manager Mike McFarlan. “We’re back at it again and really exited to be able to do it.”

McFarlan said in years past, they were able to serve 300 vets in the area.

They planned to serve 350 this year.

“They come every year and they enjoy talking to one another and sharing stories,” said McFarlan. “Just having some of that comradery gives them an opportunity to do that.”

Grand Traverse County Veterans Affairs also made a stop at the event to share the resources they provide.

“Whether it be financial assistance to veterans and their families, disability compensation for filing claims, or pointing out other referral sources that we don’t provide, and just help however we can,” said Director Michael Roof.

Roof said local vets look forward to the event each year.

“People talk about this event all year long,” he said. “It’s been going on a while, and people really enjoy it because it’s a chance to sit and reconnect with people.”

One Traverse City veteran, Mason Grahl, visited the event on Wednesday.

He served in the Marine Corps. for four years, and is a Vietnam Veteran.

“Memorial Day is a special time for me because I lost a lot of friends and comrades in Vietnam,” he said. “I kind of get emotional and I need…I don’t know…I need this.”

Grahl said he moved to Traverse City a year ago, and is still looking to meet vets like him.

“I don’t know a lot of people, but I’m getting to have some friends here,” he said. “We have a tendency in this country to forget things. Vietnam Veterans weren’t treated real well when we came back, but our organizations are reaching out to the public, and that’s very important. I thank everyone for honoring the vets.”