Despite VFW closure, school district continues Veterans Day breakfast

By: Kevin Bunch | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published October 31, 2015

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ROSEVILLE — For years, Roseville Community Schools has invited military veterans for a special breakfast on Veterans Day to honor their service, though that tradition has a new hiccup in tracking down veterans since the local Veterans of Foreign Wars hall closed.

“We’re having a real problem finding any vets with the VFW office closing,” Superintendent John Kment said at a special school board meeting Oct. 26. “We are still sending out invitations, but I’m not sure we’re going to have a lot of people.”

Assistant Superintendent Mark Blaszkowski said that traditionally the district had been able to talk to the VFW, get a list of local veterans, and then send them invitations. This year, the district was left “scrambling” to find people with that post’s closure.

“Now we don’t have that direct connection in the Roseville community to a veterans organization,” Blaszkowski said. “This is the first year that we’ve struggled with getting the names.”

Blaszkowski said members of the former Roseville post have been moved into neighboring posts, so the district was able to get in touch with a St. Clair Shores VFW post for about nine names, all of whom served in the Vietnam War era or earlier.

“We’re trying to get some of the newer veterans that are in the community as well,” he said. “We have parents that I know are veterans, but we don’t know who they are, so what we did is we were just doing a search within our own schools to see who we have.”

Blaszkowski said all of the principals started trying to get feedback from parents to find out which ones have served in any branch of the armed forces. With that information, the district could then send those men and women invitations for the breakfast.

Between those parents, the nine VFW names and veterans currently working within the school district, or serving on the school board or in the city government, Blaszkowski said they had managed to send out 37 invitations as of Oct. 29.

Attendees will be able to come to Roseville Middle School Nov. 11 for a breakfast buffet courtesy of culinary arts teacher Jon Grommon and his hospitality management students, who will be making and serving the food.

Going forward, Blaszkowski said there are some ideas on how to come up with a list of veterans for future breakfasts, like sending a survey out to all parents. He added that the district would like to come up with an alternative method as well, in case people do not see the survey, but that has not been developed yet.

The district has been doing the breakfast for “at least” 10 years.

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