PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. -- Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2519 of Denville hosted about 40 military children from Picatinny Arsenal on Dec. 15 during the group's 4th Annual Children's Christmas Party.

Post 2519 Commander Gerald McDonald said the event is one of the ways that post members help take care of military members.

"My wife and I decided three years ago that (this event) would be something that would be nice to do because the military was cutting back on everything they are doing for the post," McDonald said.
During the party, approximately 40 children of Picatinny Soldiers and Marines enjoyed pizza and ice cream provided by the post's veterans.

Santa and his band of elves also gave each child a gift.

"This event reinforces the great support from the local community to Picatinny and their families," said Picatinny Garrison Commander Lt. Col. Jason MacKay, who attended the event with his children, Hannah and Emma.

"It also carries on the support and mutual understanding shared among veterans of all eras and their families," he said.

"I thought it was incredibly generous of the members of the VFW and their spouses to spend their own time and money to conduct this event for our Picatinny active duty Soldiers and families," said Picatinny Commanding General, Brig. Gen. John J. McGuiness. "It just goes to show you that although these veterans have long ago taken off their uniforms, their spirit of service and dedication to our Soldiers is unwavering."

"We had a great time," said Picatinny Soldier Lt. Col. Phil Clark, whose family attended the event for the second year in a row. "It provided a venue during the holidays for the families of Picatinny to fellowship together for a few hours in a festive way."

"We're very grateful to the Denville VFW for what they do for the active duty families of our military," Clark said. "The members and their spouses have all served like we do, so it makes the event extra special for us."

In addition to hosting the party, Post 2519 members also made a charitable donation to the Picatinny Unit Fund, which provides quality of life and recreational opportunities for service members.