by James Coulter
Donnie Johnson, owner of Christian Brothers Automotive, knows personally the sacrifices people have made serving in the military. His cousin was a Sgt. Major in the Marine Corps, and now he teaches the ROTC at Lake Region High School.
During these politically charged times, Johnson knows that many people remain unaware of the service these brave men and women in the military have made. Wanting to show them his support, he hosted a Veteran’s Day lunch last Friday.
Several dozen local veterans and their families arrived for a luncheon catered by Johnson and his staff at Christian Brothers Automotive. The event included the Presentation of Colors by the Honor Guard, the singing of the National Anthem, and the setting of the empty chair for POW/MIA officers.
The luncheon was hosted in the parking lot of Christ Community Presbyterian Church, located right next door to Christian Brothers Automotive. Jordan Spencer, one of the church pastors, was more than honored to have his church facilitate such a momentous occasion.
“Donnie asked if we could share the parking lot with him when he threw this event,” Spencer said. “We want to do what we can for our community. We want to open our parking lot for them. I am just glad to be a part of it and thankful for what they have done, how they served, and to give back just a little bit.”
Johnson, as someone with family members in the military, wanted to show his appreciation for the local men and women who gave all to serve their country. He was pleased and honored by the turnout that day, and he expects to host similar events in the future.
“So many people forget what they do. If we can give back a little bit of what they do, give back a little bit, it’s what we can do for them,” Johnson said. “I think our veterans have been forgotten, to be honest with you. They have done so much. They have given so much for our country. If we can give a little bit back, even if it’s just lunch, I would be glad to do that.”