Homeless Combat Veterans Gather for Christmas Meal at Bethel

Lissa Diaz

Residents from the Robert L. Miller, Sr., Veteran’s Center will gather for a special Christmas dinner in the Bethel College Dining Commons on Saturday, Dec. 17. Congresswoman Jackie Walorski will be the guest speaker.

This annual event is coordinated by Jim Metherd, general manager of the Sodexo dining team at Bethel and commander of the local chapter of the Combat Veterans’ Motorcycle Association (CVMA). The college provides its kitchen and dining commons facility, and CVMA supplies the food and serves the meal.  

Metherd, a combat veteran who served in Operation Desert Storm, started the Christmas dinner five years ago in order to give back to others.

“I am constantly inspired by the way that Bethel’s students, faculty and staff give back and serve others, and this is my opportunity to give back, to pay it forward,” says Metherd. “It’s one small way I can make a difference in other people’s lives.”

The dinner will also include two Marine Corp families who have been adopted by the CVMA. The association was matched with the families through the local Veterans Affairs office, and will present them with Christmas gifts at the dinner.

The event will begin with a meet and greet at 4:30 p.m. Walorski will speak at 4:50 p.m. with dinner being served immediately a