Richmond man launches event to honor neighbors who are veterans

Veterans like Djovida D Djovida (pictured), former camera man with KQED, were honored at Burg Park today at the first annual Veterans Day BBQ-Potluck, organized by a new local resident who wanted to honor his veteran neighbors. (Photo by Mike Kinney)

By Mike Kinney

When Greg McConnell, a local realtor, moved to 27th Street in the North & East Neighborhood in Richmond from New York City three years ago, he quickly discovered three of his neighbors are veterans.

Neighbors Pete Sklover and Louis Jackson are retired Marines, and Ben Mosely is a retired Army Ranger.

So that, right there, was the reason neighbors have been seeing signs appearing in neighborhood locations about the first annual Veterans Day BBQ-Potluck at Burg Park, at 29th Street and Clinton Avenue.

Turns out, McConnell wasn’t just neighborly. He was grateful. He launched the first event so the whole neighborhood got a chance to say thanks to the people down the street who sacrificed for their neighbors.

“I just felt nobody was recognizing veterans on their day, so that’s why I decided to do this event today here in the park,” McConnell said. “Surprisingly, people just started showing up here today. I wasn’t quite sure who would show. So there were parents out here today with young children that just started coming by to the park.”

Daud Abdullah, a popular local artist and retired Air Force veteran, said such events make vets like him feel special.

“Community support is very important to veterans and there should be more events like this,” Abdullah said, adding, “Like Greg said, this event will just keep growing.”