Snyder's Sandwich: Spotlight Was On The Troops

Mark SnyderGENE M. MARCHAND/ENTERPRISE - Mark Snyder

A huge throng of people came to Hyannis on Sunday and Monday to pay tribute to the fallen heroes who have defended America, as well as the veterans who serve, and have served and lived to tell about it. It was with an enormous sense of pride in my community and my nation that I took in my first Troops In the Spotlight, which was started 10 years ago by a pre-teenager named Dylan DeSilva. It has morphed into a nonprofit 501(c) (3) called Cape Cod Cares for Our Troops (www.capecod4thetroops.com). Dylan wanted to find a way to honor our troops for their service, dedication and sacrifices to our country. With the help of his family and friends he sends care packages to our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan on a weekly basis. At the request of our troops, Dylan also sends items to schools, orphanages, medical and dental clinics in both Iraq and Afghanistan. And, it seemed everyone contributed to the giant assortment of boxes filled with toothpaste, body wipes, deodorant, and so much more. World War II, Korean, Iraq and Afghanistan veterans were honored around lunchtime on Sunday. At 2 PM That day, there was a special salute to the veterans of Vietnam, who were part of a very unpopular conflict. Although each of these men and women went to fight for their country, when they got back, they were greeted with jeers. So, it was particularly uplifting to see them finally getting their due. Dylan agreed, telling the crowd, “These men and women were not treated as they deserved when they returned.”

It was nice to see media personalities like WXTK’s Matt Pitta and WRKO’s Jeff Kuhner there and participating. Everyone was so friendly at this non-partisan event, that even Harry the Rescue Dog made a number of friends.  There were booths manned by members of all the armed forces, as well as a number of organizations dedicated to helping them. They gave out T-shirts, footballs, basketballs, and other items, with the insignia of their branch of service.

One of the event’s speakers was Sandwich’s own Jeff Perry, special sheriff of Barnstable County. Perry told me, “Overall, turnout was terrific. I was very pleased to see so many Vietnam veterans come forward and allow us to honor their service.”

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The only elected official I saw at the state or federal level during the six hours that I checked out the event was Sandwich’s state Rep. Randy Hunt (R-Sandwich). I called Michelle DeSilva, Dylan’s mom, to make sure I didn’t miss anyone during the 24-hour event, but the mailbox was full on her cellphone. So, others could have come in the other 18 hours of the event.

If you missed it, make it your goal to go to next year’s 11th Annual Troops in The Spotlight. You will be as overcome with emotion and pride as I was.  What was overpowering was watching the soldiers stand on a truck, not moving, for a full hour. Each hour, new recruits replaced them. They stood from 11 AM on Sunday through 11 AM on Monday. It was truly amazing. God Bless America.   
 
RUMBLINGS AROUND TOWN

WHISTLE STOP PASTA DINNER: The Sandwich & Bourne Republican Town Committees are having a Whistle Stop Pasta Dinner on Saturday, May 31, from 6 to 9 PM at American Legion Post 188, 20 Main Street in Sandwich.  Event chairman Gene Parini tells Snyder’s Sandwich that the event will feature a chance to meet the candidates for state representative, state senator and the US Ninth Congressional District, the presentation of Sandwich Republic Town Committee’s Republican of the Year, a silent auction, and a congressional straw poll. Pasta with meatballs, salad, bread and desserts will be served. The event will have a cash bar. There is no set admission price. Free-will donations will be accepted at the door.

DOCTOR TROUT, I PRESUME? Best-selling author Dr. Nick Trout, a veterinarian at the Angell Memorial Animal Medical Center in Boston, will be making an appearance on old Cape Cod on June 8, from 2 to 4 PM at Green Briar Nature Center, 6 Discovery Hill Road in East Sandwich. He is the author of “Tell Me Where It Hurts, The Patron Saint of Dogs.” Nick will talk about his books and work, and sign his books for those interested in purchasing them. For more information, call Vicki at 508-888-2331 or e-mail her at titcombsbookshop@gamil.com.

Mark Snyder, who has written more than 1,900 articles in newspapers and magazines, and published three books, is the CEO of PMPNetwork.com, the Internet’s entertainment superstation. Have a story idea? He can be reached by e-mail at snyderssandwich@aol.com, on Facebook (Snyder’s Stoughton), and on Twitter (MediaMan2009). Write him via snail mail at Box 639, East Sandwich 02537.  

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