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Student treats veterans to a Christmas party

Service members salute the American flag during a retreat ceremony Oct. 2, 2014, at Little Rock Air Force Base, Ark. (U.S. Air Force photo/Airman 1st Class Harry Brexel)

As Morgan Fetsock popped open boxes of Krispy Kreme doughnuts and set up other snacks on the third floor of St. Francis Commons on Friday night, she talked with some of the people who live there about her grandfather.

“He was a proud veteran,” she said.

Fetsock, 18, of Scranton, organized a party for residents at the commons, which gives homeless veterans a place to stay and help with job placement and other needs. She was close to her grandfather, John Fetsock Sr., who served in the Army. Fetsock has bought gifts for needy families in years past, but decided to do something different as a tribute to her grandfather, who died last year.

“He was a Vietnam veteran, so the veterans mean a lot to me,” she said.

Fetsock brought doughnuts, drinks and other goodies for the veterans staying at the commons Friday night. The group also played bingo, with prizes for the winners.

St. Francis Commons, 504 Penn Ave., has capacity for 30 veterans; about 23 currently live there, said Mary Theresa Vautrinot, CEO of Catholic Social Services. The program gives veterans a home for two years, and staff there assist them with finding help for medical issues, job training and ultimately, finding housing of their own, she said.

Residents at the commons were moved by the party and impressed with Fetsock’s desire to honor her grandfather Friday night.

Army veteran Michael Velez, who has lived at the commons since July, thought it was a beautiful way for Fetsock to remember her grandfather. Navy veteran David Santmyer planned to give Fetsock a star from an old American flag he kept at the commons as a token of appreciation.
(c)2017 The Times-Tribune (Scranton, Pa.)
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