At Cook For Vets, one of the most rewarding aspects of our mission is the opportunity to connect with Veterans like Fred Wiggins whose courage and dedication inspire us daily. Fred, our Veteran of the Month, has a rich history of service spanning well over 20 years in the Army and beyond.

LJ, our President and Founder, first met Fred at Alexandria’s VFW Post 609’s monthly meeting nearly two years ago. With two decades of membership, Fred embodies the camaraderie and warmth of the VFW community.

Fred’s journey began in Florida, where as a young boy, he sadly said goodbye to a friend who was drafted into the Army for service in Korea. Inspired by his friend’s commitment, Fred enlisted in the Army at just merely 17 years of age, beginning his training at Fort Dix in New Jersey. Rising to the rank of Sergeant 1st Class, Fred’s determination led him to Jump School training, earning him a place in the esteemed 82nd Airborne Division. As a paratrooper, soldiers develop leadership skills and confidence as a result of physical and mental training which served Fred well throughout his life.

Over his military career, Fred served two tours of duty in Germany and one in Vietnam, witnessing the harsh realities of combat yet he remained steadfast in his love for his country. After retiring from the Army, Fred continued his life of service as a Park Ranger for 32 years, retiring in 1993.

When reflecting on his military career, Fred shared invaluable wisdom: ‘Listen to others, but don’t judge harshly; maintain discipline and keep your loved ones safe.’ These words reflect the service and sacrifice that define Fred’s journey and serve as a guiding light for us all at Cook For Vets. We’re grateful for his enduring commitment to our country and his legacy of compassion and resilience. Fred’s unwavering dedication to service makes him a true hero in our eyes, and we’re honored to share his story with you.

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