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Serving our Veterans at Lyons VA Hospital

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“This picnic is one way of giving back and thanking these veterans for their service.”

On Tuesday, May 13th, more than 25 volunteers and staff members with the American Red Cross North Jersey Region were able to give thanks to some of the men and women who have served our country through the Armed Forces.

Together with the Lyon’s MH&BS Recovery Transformation Team, the Red Cross held the annual picnic for veterans at the Lyons VA Hospital in Lyons, New Jersey.


Volunteers had the barbeque grills fired up all morning cooking burgers, chicken and hot dogs to accompany the salads and fixings offered along with desserts for this lunchtime outing dedicated to serving our veterans.

“It’s great to be here on this beautiful day, spending time together with our veterans, sitting down and hearing their stories,” said Mathieu Nelessen, regional CEO, American Red Cross North Jersey Region. “This picnic is one way of giving back and thanking these veterans for their service to the country.”

Live music was provided by volunteers with the Recovery Transformation Team. The group entertained the more than 300 veterans who arrived to enjoy the afternoon at the park pavilion.

Service to Armed Forces volunteers look forward to seeing the veterans at the annual event. Grill master Gloria Briggs said she “wouldn’t miss it for the world.” In fact, Gloria returned from vacation a day early to work at the picnic and maintain her title as “master of the grill.” Volunteer Jerry DeFrancisco, former Red Cross president of humanitarian services, was happy to have the opportunity to serve and thank the local veterans.


SERVICE TO THE ARMED FORCES is the original mission of the American Red Cross. For more than a century, the Red Cross has been committed to helping members of the U.S. military, its veterans and their families. 

The Red Cross relies on the volunteer spirit and financial generosity of the American people to support America’s military families. Today, as always, the men and women of the American Red Cross continue to show our appreciation for the dedicated service and patriotic sacrifices of America’s military men and women and their families by being there to support them wherever they are and whenever they need us.