Sizzling grill supports veterans at commander’s cookout

Jul 18, 2021
A traditional, all-American cookout was served up July 18 at VFW Post 9059 to support veterans who served their country.

The commander’s steak cookout returned after a year off due to Covid. The cookout supports the VFW, which, like many entities, took a financial hit during the pandemic, post commander Joseph Toomey said.

The funds help the post support all veterans, he said, and not just those who belong to the post or live in Dartmouth. 

“We provide any help’’ the veteran might need, including the camaraderie of attending post events. Post members also help with paperwork and other information the veterans might need to receive services they deserve, he said. 

They work in conjunction with Veterans Service Officer Matthew Brouillette, he said, and “direct them in the direction they need to go.’’

The cookout featured steak, which was grilled to the customer’s liking, corn, baked potato, pastries and watermelon. Texas Roadhouse donated salad, dressing, bread and cinnamon butter.

Seventy-two tickets were sold, less than the usual 100 or so that are traditionally purchased, Toomey said. Tickets were $20, he said, but the price may have to increase going forward because of the rising cost of meat.

Kristen DeCastro attended to support the sacrifices made by veterans and in memory of her grandfather, Donald Montigny, a veteran and former post member. “Every time I come to this, I think of him,’’ she said.

Lori Aguiar also bought a ticket to the cookout in honor of her stepfather, Jim Collins, a post member and former commander, and “all others’’ who served.

“The money we raise goes to the veterans,’’ said Terry Caton, president of the post’s women’s auxiliary.
She said people appeared to be enjoying themselves. “It’s a good thing to get together after all that time apart,’’ she said.

The commander’s cookout serves as “a chance for us to get together and have a good time and show appreciation for the veterans,’’ said Peter Battistelli, bar manager and quartermaster of the post.

The sacrifices made for veterans should never be forgotten, said Vietnam veteran Jim Brady, a member of VFW Post 406 in Newport, R.I. and American Legion Post 37 in Little Compton, R.I.
“If it wasn’t for American veterans, you wouldn’t have a function like this to go to,’’ he said.

He made a slight drive to attend the Dartmouth event,  but he said he was happy to do so.
“All veterans,’’ he said, “support each other.’’