Special Forces veteran visits Veterans 4 Christ

A large crowd gathered at Tri-Church Parish for its Veterans 4 Christ monthly free breakfast for Veterans plus one, as well as active duty service members. Guest speaker, Steve Appleby, from the Eldred Pa WWII Museum, brought history to life with a supply of donated artifacts and lively stories.

BROCTON — Veterans 4 Christ welcomed Eldred WWII Museum curator, Steve Appleby, as a guest speaker at Tri-Church Parish.

The Veterans 4 Christ organization, founded by Westley Tessey, former pilot, purple heart veteran, and pastor with the United Methodist Church, offers a free breakfast on the third Saturday of each month to veterans plus one, as well as to active-duty service members. Tri-Church Parish in Brocton hosts the monthly breakfasts from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., and several church members are active volunteers with the group.

About 40 veterans and volunteers attended this event, and many now want to visit the museum for themselves. Appleby is a Special Forces veteran, and a native of Eldred, Pa., site of a World War II munitions plant that employed hundreds of women at that time. Appleby joked that Eldred, “population of 700” is sometimes called a little nowhere place, but this village now houses a WWII museum visited by people from all over the USA and other nations.

Appleby brought a sample of artifacts from the museum to bring history to life for his audience. All of the artifacts have been donated, so a display of unloaded weapons, pocket Bibles, cooking stove, a silk prayer scarf from a Japanese mother for a son, and a few insignia were shared. One of the more unusual items may have been curtains, said to have once hung in windows of an office housing Adolf Hitler.

Appleby spoke of his own lifelong fascination with World War II and claimed to feel blessed in retirement by a job that aligns with his dreams.

The Eldred WWII Museum is located at 201 Main Street, Eldred, PA 16731, and it is open in December to February on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Tuesdays-Friday by appointment. Admission is free, but donations are welcome. The museum phone number is 814-225-2220, and email is info@eldredpaww2museum.com

Veterans 4 Christ accepted donations at this breakfast for the museum. A total of $156 was collected and gratefully accepted by Curator Appleby at the close of the event.


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