Representatives from the Bowlers to Veterans Link fanned out across the Washington DC area this Veterans Day to participate in a variety of events to celebrate and honor our nation’s military veterans – from a breakfast at the White House, to a wreath laying at the Tomb of the Unknowns, to a meeting with VA Secretary McDonald – the day was filled with programs and activities designed to raise the public consciousness of the service and sacrifice of America’s veterans.
The day began early for United States Bowling Congress Executive Director Chad Murphy and Pat Ciniello, Chairman of the Board of QubicaAMF. “We were proud to represent BVL and our great sport as guests at the annual White House breakfast honoring our nation’s veterans,” noted Ciniello.
Murphy commented, “I’m humbled, honored, and blessed to be part of these activities. Thanks BVL, thank you bowling. Thank you to all of our veterans on this day.”
Lisa Ciniello and Anita LaSpina represented BVL as part of the Presidential Color Guard of members of the nation’s Veterans Service Organizations at the National Veterans Day ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery.
BVL Board President John LaSpina remarked, “Although every day is Veterans Day for us at BVL, it is a wonderful occasion to join together collectively as a nation to reflect and remember what our veterans have done for us. President Obama’s remarks today resonated with our BVL group when he stated in his speech, ‘We can acknowledge that we can never truly repay our veterans for what they have done for us, but we can try… We must honor their good work with our own.’”
BVL is a member of the National Veterans Day Organizing Committee and, as such, earns the privilege and the opportunity to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns. Murphy, along with BVL Board Members John LaSpina (BOD President), Libbi Fletcher and Karl Kielich accompanied the wreath to the Tomb.
The day concluded with a reception at the Women In Military Service for America Memorial where BVL representatives met with VA Secretary McDonald. There, the Secretary was presented with a facsimile check of more than $925,000, representing the amount of money the sport of bowling raised during the 2015-16 season to support recreational and therapeutic programs and services designed to boost the spirits of hospitalized veterans and help speed their recuperation.
“The Secretary’s interest in meeting with our BVL constituency clearly confirms his appreciation for our efforts. He openly illustrates his gratitude for our commitment to America’s veterans,” says LaSpina. “I explained to him that we are in this to win it; we have just begun to make our 16-17 year the best yet.”