A Topeka veterans service to his fellow soldiers lives on

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TOPEKA (WIBW)-- A veterans act of selfless service is living on.

The Topeka VA dedicated the Topeka Campus Gazebo Park to veteran Randy Whelpley. Randy was the founding father of the annual R and R Smokeout on the Topeka VA campus.

Whelpley who passed away in March 2018, started the BBQ event 19 years ago as a way to help veterans battling PTSD. That event started with just 35 people and now it has fed over 500 people.

"Randy just saw a need and he saw a special group of veterans that he wanted to connect with," Joseph Burks, Spokesperson, for VA Eastern Kansas Healthcare System said.

"The simple fact that just a home cook meal for the patients, veterans and staff is all my dad wanted every year and he did it every year and we're going to keep doing it for him every year," Randy Whelpley's son Bryce Whelpley said.