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Assemblyman Danielsen Holds Annual Veterans’ Day Breakfast At Stage House Tavern

Sate Assemblyman Joe Danielsen speaks during the annual Veterans’ Day breakfast at Stage House Tavern.


Several dozen area military veterans joined state Assemblyman Joe Danielsen for breakfast Nov. 9 in what has become an annual tradition.

Hosted by the Stage House Tavern on Amwell Road, Danielsen’s annual Veterans’ Day breakfast is his way of saying thank-you to his fellow veterans for their service, Danielsen (D-17) said.

The Stage House, Danielsen said, donates all the food for the breakfast.

“Every year we have this breakfast, we don’t pay a cent for it,” he said. “The Stage House gives us this breakfast and hosts this event. They offered, we took it and every year, whatever we ask for when it comes to veterans, they just give it.”

Danielsen told the veterans that they all share the “highest level of citizenship.”

“I also have to remember that the other group of people who share that level of citizenry are mothers, who send their children in a different way, into the military service,” he said. “Both mothers and veterans, if it wasn’t for them, we would be here celebrating anything.”

“I also want to bring to your attention to let people know you’re a veteran,” he said. “Let them have an opportunity to express their gratitude like we are doing here today. Wear your shirts, your hats your pins, tell your stories with honor. And never forget that you are the highest level of citizenry.”

Mayor Philip Kramer, himself a seven-year Air Force veteran, told the group that they are “the people who understand this nation and have dedicated yourselves to this nation. We are now a nation that is somewhat divided, and I just wish if everyone had your dedication, I think we would be less divided.”

Danielsen and Kramer presented Stage House general manager Donald “Junior” Erickson with a commendation from the General Assembly.

“With all our gratitude, we say thank you,” Danielsen said.

“Thank you for your service,” Erickson told the group. “This is something we do all year long. We believe in supporting our vets, not just today or not just on Veterans’ Day or Memorial Day, it’s every week of the year. We do a lot of work with local posts, also with veterans who may not have any family.”

“I think it’s an important thing around the holidays,” he said. “On Veterans’ Day especially, this place is packed. You guys are more than welcome to come in and enjoy a meal on the house.”

Danielsen said he got the idea for the veterans’ breakfast from the vice president of an insurance company for whcih he used to work.

“He would have a veterans’ breakfast every year, and I was like, why don’t I do that,” Danielsen said. “It was nice getting the veterans together, you hear the stories, sometimes you share a couple tears, and it’s nice.”

“Non-veterans don’t understand how lonely it is going away and not knowing when you’re coming back sometimes,” he said. “Sometimes it’s lonely coming back, for different reasons. I’m the youngest of nine, and sometimes when you’re around family, sometimes you don’t feel at home unless you’re around other veterans. That’s what we’re doing this for.”

Kramer said that he does not believe that military veterans get the support they deserve.

“Certainly its better than the Vietnam era, when the recognition was all negative,” he said. “When people realize you’re a veteran, they do say thank you for your service, things like that.”

“I think VA benefits for wounded soldiers are not what they should be,” he said. “If someone has given to their country essentially a body part or a wounded body part, we should be paying for everything related to that and there shouldn’t be a hassle at the hospital. We should be bending over backwards. And the widows or widowers should receive more benefits.”

 

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