By Eric Swanson
ADA — Several veterans organizations are teaming up next month to host a celebration for Ada-based soldiers who have served overseas.
Veterans of Foreign Wars Posts 11194 and 1202, the American Legion post and the Combat Infantrymen’s Association will host a welcome-home banquet for the soldiers and their families. The invitation-only event is set for 6 p.m. Nov. 10 at the Pontotoc County Agri-Plex and Convention Center, 1710 N. Broadway.
The event will honor Ada-based members of Troops A and C, 1st Squadron of the 180th Cavalry of the Oklahoma National Guard, who returned home in early May after serving in Kuwait and Afghanistan.
“We endeavored to do it just as quick as we could after they returned, but their commander suggested we do it Veterans Day weekend, since they were command directed to drill that weekend,” said Dennis Heath, commander of VFW Post 11194.
Heath said the veterans organizations pooled their resources with the city of Ada, Pontotoc County and the Chickasaw Nation for the event.
Approximately 175 soldiers and their families are expected to attend the banquet, which will include top-name entertainment. Organizers have also received private donations for the event.
Organizers have also invited about 100 dignitaries as well as members of veterans service organizations.
Heath said the event is designed to show Ada’s soldiers that the community values their service.
“Many veterans who returned after serving in Korea and Vietnam were not welcomed, so we wanted to make sure our troops in Ada were welcomed,” he said.
By Eric Swanson
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