Nov. 18—What's become a recent local Thanksgiving tradition is set to return on Monday, when hundreds of veterans and their families flock to the Brandin' Iron Steakhouse at West Point to share food and fellowship over a free, all volunteer-prepared meal.
The 7th annual free Thanksgiving dinner at the Brandin' Iron is a joint effort between the restaurant, the Cullman VFW Post 2214, and dozens of sponsors and volunteers who come together before Thanksgiving to whip up more than 1,000 homemade meals for local veterans. In addition to Monday's on-site activity at the restaurant, deputies with the Cullman County Sheriff's Office also go out into the community to deliver free boxed dinners to disabled veterans at their homes.
Organizer Josh Speakman, who's been with the project since its inception, says the dinner will definitely feel Thanksgiving familiar, with turkey, ham, dressing, sweet potato casserole, green beans, and a variety of locally-prepared homemade desserts all free to current veterans and their spouses (as well as their caretaker), along with local spouses of deceased veterans.
Though the Brandin' Iron's West Point location is used to crowds, Monday's dinner deluge means efforts to prepare for the event will require two kitchens. While staff at the restaurant manages the event on site, volunteers will be working just up the road in the school cafeteria kitchen at West Point to ensure no one goes away hungry.
The Brandin' Iron begins welcoming veterans and their guests from 12-6 p.m. Monday, Nov. 21 at its West Point location at 87 County Road 1242, just past the three-way stop near the school. Shut-in veterans, their spouses, and spouses of deceased veterans can call the VFW at 256-739-6611 no later than this evening to order meals to be delivered by a sheriff's deputy to their homes on Monday.
Benjamin Bullard can be reached by phone at 256-734-2131 ext. 234.