Juniper Ranch hosts annual chili feed, fishing event for veterans

For more than two decades, a Caldwell family has been opening their home to veterans.

CALDWELL - Since 1994, Stan and Jeanie Meholchick, have been hosting a fishing event for veterans.

Stan is a Vietnam veteran who served in the Marine Corps and wanted to give back and help other veterans.

"Think about those guys in the old age home. They don't get a chance to get out at all," he said.

So, they give them a day of fishing on their pond and a bowl or two of Stan’s famous chili.

"When we see the smiles on their face, and when we see them catching a big fish, and even if they don’t catch a fish… it just makes your heart smile," Jeanie said.

This was the first time Steve Jones, a Vietnam veteran, came to the annual fishing event at Juniper Ranch in Caldwell.

"This is probably been one of the best places I've ever been since I've been at the Idaho Vets Home," he said.

He’s been living there for two years now. For Jones, like many others attending Tuesday’s event, it’s more than just a fishing trip. It’s a place where they can be around others who understand what they’ve been through.

"Veterans don't get a lot of the accolades that they need. I'm not saying that I'm unique or anybody else is, it's just that a lot of people don't understand and that's hard to deal with sometimes," he said.

"Well, they call it at the VA home their little sanctuary,” Jeanie said.

"We don't get out to do a lot of things and this being what it is, is great. I mean it stays with you for a long time,” Jones said.  “It's just great. I don't know what else to say, but I will come back."

© 2017 KTVB-TV


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