12The Hoke County Republican Party will be hosting a Veteran Appreciation Freedom BBQ this weekend that is geared around veterans in the area.

Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson and Congressman Dan Bishop will be present at the event and they will be speaking both to the crowd and to veterans one-on-one. Robinson served in the U.S. Army Reserve from 1985 to 1989.

Hal Nunn, the Communications Director and former Chairman of the Hoke County Republican Party, says that this event was inspired by Lt. Governor Mark Robinson when he made a remark last time he was in Hoke County that he wanted to speak directly to veterans.

He said that Chairman David Frump and Vice Chairman Chris Holland came up with the idea of having a veterans appreciation barbecue featuring Robinson. They would host veteran organizations and Fuller’s Old Fashioned BBQ would help sponsor and provide the food.

Some of the veteran organizations that will be at the event to provide information and services to veterans include Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW) Post 10, the American Legion and Disabled American Veterans.

“For me personally, I'm a 20-year army disabled veteran, and sometimes I think our veterans' issues are overlooked,” Nunn said. “So I think the Lt. Gov. coming to Raeford is wonderful to talk directly to the veterans and we will have all these veteran organizations there so they can get help if they need it.”

Prior to the event, Nunn says that Robinson will be at the VFW Post 10 to talk with veterans one-on-one without the giant crowds.

This kind of opportunity to speak with someone who can not only listen but also make a change when it comes to veterans issues in North Carolina can be major for veterans, according to Nunn.

Outside of the food and a 50/50 cash drawing, there will also be live music from BonesFolk who will be performing music from their recently released second album, Beautiful Circle. BonesFolk is a band that is made up entirely of former Special Forces military veterans.

The All-Veteran Parachute Team will also be doing a skydiving demonstration for entertainment. But they won’t be the only ones jumping out of the plane.

North Carolina Congressman Ted Budd, former Congressman and current Senate candidate Mark Walker, and Senate candidate Jennifer Banwart will be jumping out of the planes with the skydivers.

Even with all the political figures that will appear at the event, Nunn says that politics is not the purpose of the barbecue.

“We don't want to make this political,” Nunn said. “We want to thank our vets, we want to help them and we want to keep veteran issues in the forefront.”

The barbecue will take place on Nov. 13 from 2 –5 p.m. at the Raeford Airport.

While the event is free, they ask for people to register ahead of time for security purposes.

Over 200 people have registered to attend the event so far, according to the Hoke County Republican Party. Registration can be found at https://www.eventbrite.com/e/172131739667.

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