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Welcome Home party for soldier to feature bike run

By Staff | Jun 12, 2015

Focusing on service to military personnel, whether retired, in the reserves or still active, the Veteran’s Club of America, Post #1, 16701 San Carlos Blvd., does its part to promote and thank those who have served.

Late last month, the club hosted its annual Memorial Day celebration that attracted hundreds from the area, as well as several local dignitaries and well-known members of the community.

This month they will honor those serving.

After one year of deployment in Bahrain, son of a Vet’s Club member Pete Bruno, Thomas Bruno, SP. E2, U.S. Navy, has been granted his first leave, arriving in Southwest Florida Thursday, June 18, at 6:15 p.m. Wanting to give his son a great welcome, along with the rest of the club members, a big ride out to the Southwest Florida International Airport has been scheduled that day, with kickstands up at 4:30 p.m.

Everyone is welcome to join in on the run, whether you were/are in the military or not.

“We want to show this serviceman a big welcome,” said Carl Mann, Vet’s Club member and friend of Pete’s. “We were first talking about a few bikes going out there, but then we thought, no, we really have to make this special, and more and more said they’d join us.”

So far, Mann said about 30 VFW bikes will be participating on the ride, along with another 70 from the Vet’s Club and other affiliations.

“All are welcome to join in on the run, give this man a big welcome, then ride back to the club for free beer and pizza,” Mann said.

Pauline Delisle, manager of the Veteran’s Club of America, is eager to host this very special celebration.

“He’s been out there for a year. A welcome party is something that his dad wanted to do for him, and of course we’re all big friends here at the Li’l Club. We’re happy to host this party. If it has anything to do with our service people, we are all for it.”

Delisle was excited to share that the Sons of the American Legion made a very generous donation to help cover the cost of the pizza and beer during the welcome home party that evening.

“Everyone is welcome to ride with us and come back for the party. Anyone who rides is welcome to come to the party at the club after, whether you’re a member or not,” Mann said.

At the last count, participation of more than 150 bikes are expected to make the ride, and the Southwest Florida International Airport is working with the group to ensure all goes smooth upon their arrival.

All those planning to attend are asked to RSVP, so planners have a better idea of how much food and beer to order beforehand. Call Pete Bruno, 239-645-5808.