veterans bfast

Rotarians served breakfast to veterans at their annual veterans breakfast at the senior center last Thursday.

On the morning of Nov. 8, the Foxboro Senior Center was filled with veterans and their families, as the Foxboro Rotary Club treated them to breakfast, an annual event meant to honor their services.

Raymond DeAgrela, the owner of Tasty Ray’s of Mansfield, who caters the event, said he loves that the Rotary club puts this on every year for veterans.

“They deserve this and much more for all that they have done for our country, we are happy to be a part of this annual event,” he said.

Chris Shewry, the center’s program coordinator, was thankful to the Rotary Club for sponsoring the breakfast for many years.

“It’s always special just because we have a lot of seniors who are veterans but also have family members — either children who are in the armed forces or who have spouses, their own parents and grandparents. It is a special time of the year and we always get a good response,” Shewry said.

Marc Craig, director of the Foxboro Council on Aging and human services, was excited to see a packed crowd at the breakfast.

“This is an amazingly special day for us. This is a perfect opportunity because a number of veterans who don’t normally come to the senior center are here today. They get to have a nice breakfast and they get to hear a nice speaker. It’s just a nice little remembrance and a perfect way to honor our veterans,” Craig said.

Jim Murphy, 81, who served in the Air Force between 1957 and 1961 in the motor pool, said he and his wife have been coming to senior center since 1999 and this event gets him out of the house to have a nice breakfast and meet nice people.

“This is a great breakfast event. Very nice for the Rotarians to put this on for all the veterans and active military. We appreciated it very much,” Murphy said.

For Donald Kinney, 67, who served in the Navy between 1971 and 1977 as a machinist, this was his second year coming to the breakfast event at the senior center. “It is very special. I never had time to come to these events since I worked a lot,” said Kinney.

Al and Pat Carll came to the breakfast as a guest of their daughter Lori Rudd, a Foxboro resident, and long-time Rotarian.

Rudd said she loves this event.

“My parents are new to Foxboro. They recently moved from Rhode Island and this is a perfect opportunity to see the senior center in full swing,” she said. “Everyone has been very welcoming to them. It is also nice for my parents to see what our Rotary Club does in the community. It’s a great morning.”

Her father Al Carll, 85, is an Air Force veteran, who served during the Korean War. He spent a year stationed on a mountaintop in Alaska, maintaining a radar site. “It was a very nice event. I really enjoyed the speaker and the breakfast. I think the senior center is beautiful and a great place for seniors. Without a doubt, we are coming back,” Carll said.

His wife Pat said Veterans Day is very special to their family.

“I have family members who are service members, including two sisters, my brother, aunt, and uncle. The senior center is a nice place — everybody is friendly and breakfast was very good,” she added.

“It’s great to be here seeing veterans who worked really hard for us. It is a privilege to be here as a Rotarian, to serve breakfast and I feel so happy to be here at the senior center today,” said Adeola Olafikun, a new Rotary member.

The guest speaker, Joseph Dunn, a Randolph resident, spoke about his book “The Search for Canasta 404: Love, loss and the POW/MIA movement.”

His father, Joseph P. Dunn, a Commander Naval Aviator was shot down in Southern China in 1968 during the Vietnam War and was missing in action.

“It’s great and an honor to be here as a guest speaker. Marc Craig invited me to this event since I know him from the town of Randolph,” Dunn said, noting he is not unfamiliar with Foxboro.

“I know the town of Foxboro very well because Bob Kraft, the owner of Patriots, was good to the POW-MIA movement early on since his friend who lived in Brookline was actually killed in Vietnam during the war,” Dunn said. “So he was always really nice and supportive of my mom before other people did. He was very helpful so it’s nice to come here to speak.”

Paul Dumas, 75, who served in Army in the 1960s and is a past commander of American Legion Post 93 and chairman of Norfolk County A.L. Baseball, said he has been coming to this event for the past six or seven years and this year was the best turnout.

Dumas said Maureen Dunn was one of the greatest women of the Vietnam-era generation for all the activism she did. Veterans across the state have always been proud of all the things she did to force the MIA process and anything connected with supporting veterans, he said.

“(Joseph Dunn) got a personal touch and shared things about his mother that made real for all of us. It was a heartwarming speech and I am so glad I was able to witness it,” said Dumas.