Operation Cherrybend: Veterans enjoy full week of activities


Veterans enjoy full week of activities

By John Hamilton - jhamilton@wnewsj.com



Operation Cherrybend and the Flight Deck Veterans Group are teaming up to make this year’s week-long event in Clinton County a memorable one for veterans and the public as well. Shown, the veterans are joined by musicians and others to do some fishing at the Melvin Stone Company.


Mark Huber | News Journal

The veterans enjoyed a day of fishing as part of the Flight Deck Veterans Group and Operation Cherrybend.


Mark Huber | News Journal

Veterans as well as members of the public gathered for social time Thursday evening at 1572 Roadhouse Barbecue.


Amber Stebbins | News Journal

The veterans were brothers in arms Thursday night at a barbecue held for them at 1572 Roadhouse Barbecue.


Amber Stebbins | News Journal

WILMINGTON — “For a week, (the veterans) can be like how they were before their world changed.”

That’s what Cherrybend Pheasant Farm co-owner Beth Ellis says is the end goal for the annual Operation Cherrybend.

This year’s week-long event invited 14 veterans to relax and enjoy food, fishing, clay target shooting, and good music at Cherrybend Pheasant Farm. This year they added a fishing tournament and tandem skydiving to their list of activities.

The event began in 2015 after country singer Jared Ashley visited Cherrybend on a hunt with kids with cancer in 2013. He was inspired to make it an event with his non-profit organization, the Flight Deck Veterans Group, which brings awareness to everyday struggles that veterans face.

“He said this is what I’m looking for,” said Ellis. “We can come up and do something with music in it and have a great event.”

According to Ellis, they decided to include the community involved in some of the events.

“I think civilians struggle to figure how they can help. Everybody is different and has different issues daily. Sometimes we just need to say we still care even after the uniform comes off,” she said.

While Operation Cherrybend started off small with just five veterans, it continues to grow each year. Each veteran is recommended to them and is selected through a vetting process, said Ellis.

In the years since it started, the vets and participants have been treated to concerts from some big name musicians including Lonestar, John Michael Montgomery, and on Saturday night Joe Diffie as well as Jared Ashley and others will perform at the Murphy Theatre in not only a musical event, but a patriotic one with the focus on America’s veterans.

Tickets are $35 and available at themurphytheatre.org or operationcherrybend.org.

There was a private concert with Jason Michael Carroll on Friday.

Operation Cherrybend and the Flight Deck Veterans Group are teaming up to make this year’s week-long event in Clinton County a memorable one for veterans and the public as well. Shown, the veterans are joined by musicians and others to do some fishing at the Melvin Stone Company.
http://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2017/09/web1_OpCherrybend_fish1-2.jpgOperation Cherrybend and the Flight Deck Veterans Group are teaming up to make this year’s week-long event in Clinton County a memorable one for veterans and the public as well. Shown, the veterans are joined by musicians and others to do some fishing at the Melvin Stone Company. Mark Huber | News Journal

http://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2017/09/web1_OpCherrybend_fish3-2.jpgMark Huber | News Journal

http://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2017/09/web1_OpCherrybend_fish4-2.jpgMark Huber | News Journal

http://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2017/09/web1_OpCherrybend_fish7-2.jpgMark Huber | News Journal

The veterans enjoyed a day of fishing as part of the Flight Deck Veterans Group and Operation Cherrybend.
http://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2017/09/web1_OpCherrybend_fish9-2.jpgThe veterans enjoyed a day of fishing as part of the Flight Deck Veterans Group and Operation Cherrybend. Mark Huber | News Journal

http://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2017/09/web1_OpCherrybend_fish10-2.jpgMark Huber | News Journal

Veterans as well as members of the public gathered for social time Thursday evening at 1572 Roadhouse Barbecue.
http://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2017/09/web1_vet-wheelchair-2.jpgVeterans as well as members of the public gathered for social time Thursday evening at 1572 Roadhouse Barbecue. Amber Stebbins | News Journal

The veterans were brothers in arms Thursday night at a barbecue held for them at 1572 Roadhouse Barbecue.
http://www.wnewsj.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/22/2017/09/web1_vets-in-arms-2.jpgThe veterans were brothers in arms Thursday night at a barbecue held for them at 1572 Roadhouse Barbecue. Amber Stebbins | News Journal
Veterans enjoy full week of activities

By John Hamilton

jhamilton@wnewsj.com