Knights of Columbus honor the military - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Knights of Columbus honor the military

June 20, 2005

Albany-- You might call it applause of appreciation. "I think it's a great thing. It's good to show us respect," says Staff Sergeant George Roberts of the Marine Corps.

It's appreciation for United States troops, both veterans and active members, who sacrificed to protect us. "We don't worry about us. We worry about you before we worry about us," says Roberts. Staff Sergeant George Roberts left for Afghanistan back in October with the 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit.

"We were there for about seven months protecting and building up a lot of things in Afghanistan," says Roberts. They were helping to build up neighborhoods and schools along with adjusting to a different mindset. "You're trying to eat their foods and live their lifestyles so it's pretty rough," says Roberts.

But tonight, he's here with dozens of other soldiers getting treated to a good meal along with being thanked. "To let the guys know how much we really appreciate what they're doing. A good many of us are veterans in the first place," says Thomas Hockert of The Knights of Columbus.

For about twenty years, the Knights of Columbus has honored soldiers with a military appreciation dinner. It's a dinner that gives them the chance to reflect on their pasts and give active soldiers a view into the military life of years ago.

"A lot of things have changed over the years as far as tactics go, equipment, communications," says Hockert. People's views about the war have also changed. "It's not like when they came back from Vietnam and they were getting spit on and things of that nature and getting looked against," says Roberts. But soldiers both active and inactive have one thing in common at the dinner; the appreciation.

"I appreciate him being home but I respect why he was over there," says wife Beth Roberts.

"Everybody was like thank you and everywhere I go it's thank you I appreciate the things you're doing," says Roberts. It's a job well done and the armed forces are being honored with good food and fellowship.

The Knights of Columbus is a group of Catholic men dedicated to charity, unity, fraternity and patriotism.

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