￼On the first Wednesday of each month, the First United Methodist Church holds a free dinner for veterans and WNMU students Student Veteran dinner. The church has hosted this event since November of 2019. The event takes place at the First United Methodist Church, located at 300 College Avenue just a few steps from campus.
The church’s new pastor Jared Secret, has been working on connecting with the community. “To help veterans and their friends, ” is how he described the purpose of the dinner, at its most recent event on February 5. The dinner serves a wide variety of foods that are brought by members of the church ministry.
The event is open to the public and anyone is invited to volunteer or participate by contacting pastor Pastor Secret or with Paulo Veltri, Director of the WNMU Cultural Center and Coordinator for the WNMU Veteran’s Resource Center. The monthly dinner brings together members of Methodist churches from the surrounding area including Deming, Lordsburg, and Mimbres.
Pastor Secret has also been supporting the WNMU One Stop (food pantry) with church members donating food items each month. The church wants to bring itself and the community closer.
The events don’t only help veterans by providing them with a dinner and great company but an opportunity to join the community. Veltri was in the Army for eight years prior to working at Western. He explained that events like these are really important to help veterans adjust to civilian life. “In the army, you are provided a place to sleep and food, when you leave the military none of that is provided anymore. Veterans struggle in the civilian world trying to reintegrate into society. They don’t know whom to turn to and often pride gets in the way.”
Events like these help veterans adjust to civilian life and create relationships with the community.