Written by Phil Cerroni
By Alvin Starks
American flags waved in the wind as people from across the DFW Metroplex joined together at Porter’s Army & Navy’s annual Unite for Troops event during Veterans Day weekend. There were many men and women in uniform: US troops, firemen, police officers and Boy Scouts but one uniform in particular brought big smiles to kids and adults of all ages.
Tommy Underwood, a veteran who was stationed in Germany for three years, was in attendance dressed in full uniform with a slight twist - oversized combat boots with navy blue laces, orange hair, white face paint, and a red nose completed his army clown ensemble.
“Sgt. Suckertash is one of my favorite alter-egos,” Underwood said. “Tomorrow I’ll dress as a hobo clown named Willie B. Last year I dressed as Sheer-luck Holmes. I call him Sheer-luck, because he solves all of his mysteries with sheer luck.” Underwood walked around the entire area doing his routine. His Uncle Sam impersonation generated a lot of laughs.
“After serving in the army for so many years and giving back to my country, it’s nice to put on a show for people and make them laugh,” Underwood said.
Terri Robertson, who has volunteered at the event for six years, labeled boxes and set up a table for attendees to write letters to deployed troops.
“I’m honored to help support our troops in any way I can. Gathering supplies and volunteering every year is the least that I can do,” Robertson said. The supplies donated will be sent to Camp Leatherneck Medical Facility in Afghanistan.
Besides donating items and writing letters, the event featured a number of activities, a bounce house, face painting, arts and crafts, and even a petting zoo.
Kirk Tiner, a member of the Dallas-Forth Worth Herpetological Society, had various snakes on display for people to view or even hold in their hands if they were brave enough.105.3 The Fan kept sports fans up to date with everything that transpired in the world of college football.
A Flag Retirement ceremony was conducted by the Boy Scouts. Shortly afterward, Heartbreak Beard - a band from Irving - took the stage and serenaded the crowd with tunes.