Veterans help children in need, keep military history alive

The Wartime Radio Revue performs at seventh annual Help the Children Veterans Appreciation Day/ Ryan Mancini The Signal

Families and veterans turned out Saturday in support of a local nonprofit and those who served for the seventh annual Help the Children Veterans Appreciation Day celebration.

“We have 150 veterans come here,” said Bradley Grose, CEO of Help the Children, a nonprofit organization which coordinated the event at the Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 6885 in Canyon Country.

The gathering began with providing food for families in need, Grose said. He added the organizations collaborated with the home improvement company Home Depot with a discount of around 50,000 to 80,000 home and garden items for veterans. The event itself held an auction on home and garden supplies, such as fire pits and lawnmowers.

Hot dogs and snacks were offered for attendees. On display were several World War II- and Korean War-style Jeeps, restored or constructed by owners passionate about military history.

“It’s just to keep the history going,” said Craig Abernethy, one of the Jeep owners whose father and cousins served during World War II.

As the event closed, a squadron of AT-6 aircraft flew over the event as apart of a “missing man” aerial salute. This served to commemorate the life of Major Stephen Del Bagno, a Valencia resident and an F-35A fighter pilot who died in April.

AT-6 aircraft fly in formation during the “missing man” salute to Major Stephen Del Bagno/ Ryan Mancini The Signal

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