Post 256’s Homeless Veterans Barbeque

Members of Post 256 color guard at the Dallas Kosher BBQ opening ceremony.

By Steve Krant, Post 256 Commander

(DALLAS – September 6, 2018) For the fourth year in-a-row, Dr. Harvey J. Bloom Post 256 and Auxiliary served a delicious barbecue lunch with all the usual trimmings to more than 100 homeless veterans on the campus of the Dallas Veterans Affairs (VA) Medical Center.

Weeks before the event, social workers and staff from the hospital’s Domiciliary Care for Homeless Veterans (DCHV) team spread the word at area shelters and temporary lodging facilities, identified and gave out admission tickets to qualified veterans, and made arrangements for “day of” transportation to the luncheon from multiple collection points.

National Commander Dr. Barry Schneider pitched-in on the serving line before speaking to the gathering about JWV’s history and mission. In addition, he offered some encouraging insights about recently confirmed VA secretary

Post 256 recruiting new members.

Robert Wilkie and his plans for the agency’s future.

The meal  was again catered by local brisket master, Big Al’s Smokehouse and underwritten by Post 256 and the generosity of a veteran-friendly Dallas philanthropist. Big Al’s crew sliced and served their beef and chicken, while post and auxiliary members dispensed iced tea and lemonade at one end of the serving line, and fresh apple pie at the opposite end.  (NEC) Jerry Benjamin brought 22 fresh pies, special ordered with a liberal discount from the bakery department of his neighborhood Tom Thumb grocery (part of the Albertsons group). Our ladies auxiliary team decorated the long tables with edible centerpieces made-up of “take away” tangerines and bananas graciously contributed by a local Costco Wholesale warehouse.

The appreciative crowd was entertained throughout the meal by talented teen singer and songwriter Joli Reiman — granddaughter of proud post members Lionel Reiman and Jim Walsh. Known professionally as “Joli Hope,” the future headliner already has several of her original songs listed on iTunes and Spotify.

In years past, the Dallas Post served a “full Monty” turkey dinner to local homeless veterans at the VA facility during the Thanksgiving holiday week. Unfortunately, well-meaning competition from other benevolent groups diluted the effort and caused “turkey burn-out” among the intended recipients. That led post leadership to rethink and regroup, ultimately launching a new tradition four years ago: An end-of-summer BBQ scheduled around the Labor Day holiday.

Volume 72. Number 4. Winter 2018