LEDGEDALE- On “the real” Veterans Day, Sunday November 11, owners of the Ledgedale BBQ Pit, Kate and Al Rae will provide a free meal with proof of identification to any veteran or present servicemen who walk through the door, Kate said. Guests are welcome all day for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Kate said, whether they come for breakfast at 7:30 or dinner at 8:30 at night, it doesn’t matter. The restaurant’s doors are always open to veterans, but this year, a new tradition will be born because the couple said they do not think veterans receive enough recognition for what they do for the country and its people. When Al returned home from his tour in Vietnam, once he stepped off the bus, he was spat at. Kate said the couple wants to make sure that “vets are recognized for the sacrifices” because “coming home isn’t always easy” just like it was not for Al. The point of the restaurant’s offering is to show veterans that “there’s somebody here who cares about them,” Al added. Al was an R-I copilot in the air force for four years, where he spent 39 months straight in southeast Asia. For 34 of those months however, he was in combat zones. Today, because of what he saw in Vietnam, he suffers from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder because “it stays with you, it’s not curable” he said. Al eventually went to the Philippines where he and other servicemen built Diego Garcia, an island where B-52s launched from during the Gulf War. He said in 1970, servicemen were able to pick some of their missions which sometimes meant they would receive clean sheets, a bed and food. The island, Al said was like something out of the movies because there was nothing but sand and palm trees. The biggest thing Al took away from being in the service was responsibility he said. The couple moved to the area 12 years ago from Long Island. Al has volunteered his services as a firefighter and when he was in Long Island he was an emergency medical technician for 28 years. In total, Al has been a firefighter for 37 years, but at this time he is still a firefighter and the vice president of the Ledgedale Fire Department. Al said he is into his fireman’s job “110 percent, from day one to now, I eat, dream, seven days a week,” the responsibly of being a volunteer fireman. Now though, Al is primarily involved in the training, driving and helping the younger members of the department learn about the job. At this time, the couple does not have an idea of how many guests will show up on November 11, but Kate said because they have a good system, she is not worried about the service. Instead, jokingly she said “the poor last guy might just get a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.” For questions call (570) 689-2200.