Monday, October 31, 2005

Steakhouse Marks Two Years of Friday Nights With Troops

This Steakhouse deserves the thanks of us all. What a wonderful thing to do for our troops.

By Samantha L. QuigleyAmerican Forces Press Service

WASHINGTON, Oct. 31, 2005 – Fran O'Brien's Stadium Steakhouse in the Capitol Hilton here was the place to be Oct. 28, as the restaurant owners expressed appreciation for the troops and had the favor returned.

"Tonight this is about reunion and thanks," Gordon England, acting deputy secretary of defense, told the group of about 230 people. "But it's primarily about thanks."

Gordon presented steakhouse owners Hal Koster and Marty O'Brien with framed letters expressing his gratitude and that of President Bush, Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld, and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Marine Gen. Peter Pace.

The "Friday Night Dinners Reunion Celebration" marked two years of Fran O'Brien's providing free steak dinners every Friday night to wounded troops from Walter Reed Army Medical Center here and the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, Md. Patients from the two medical facilities, some of whom have left the medical centers, and family members were on hand to celebrate the milestone.

"It's just an honor to be around (the troops)," Koster said, adding that the dinners won't stop as long as there are still troops in need of the morale boost the evenings away from the hospitals provide. "The doctors have said (getting away from the hospital) speeds healing. We see that a little bit ourselves."


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