North Platte, Neb. — The spirit of the North Platte Canteen came alive this week as more than 700 service men and women were treated to a meal thanks to much planning and many volunteers.
When the call came in last week about a troop convoy passing through North Platte and needing to serve lunch to service members, North Platte answered the call. The North Platte/Lincoln County Visitors Bureau made some calls and sent some emails and offers poured in for food, supplies, equipment, time and money.
Troop movements are classified as a matter of national security, so the project couldn’t be mentioned via the media until after the embargo was lifted.
The troops were traveling back to their home base after training in Wyoming. The modern day Canteen was held at the D & E Event Center on Monday & Tuesday.
A news release says the young men and women hadn’t had a real meal in weeks. They had been out on maneuvers and living off of MRE’s. Steak sandwiches, cold sandwiches, potato salad, deviled eggs and cookies helped fill their empty stomachs.
Continuing a Canteen tradition, nearly two dozen birthday cakes were given out, including for one young man’s 21st birthday, who had never had a birthday cake before.
Many of the soldiers did not know anything about the WWII Canteen, but they were grateful for the hospitality shown by the community that has a place in history for the World War II Canteen.