Veterans One Stop serves Thanksgiving meals to 750+ veterans, family members

Posted at 4:33 PM, Nov 17, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-17 18:13:51-05

Veterans One Stop in Waco served more than 750 veterans and family members at the center's annual Thanksgiving feast.

"It's just been an amazing day. So many veterans, so many family members coming together, getting to serve a meal to them to say 'thank you,' to say 'welcome home,'" director DeLisa Russell said.

One of those veterans is 75-year-old Joe Morales. He served 20 years in the military as a sergeant first class and received two Purple Hearts.

"We did not get a lot of support when we came back from Vietnam. This is to show the other veterans that are serving now in Afghanistan and Iraq and all over the world .. that there is support here now," Morales said.

Being away from their families during the holidays wasn't easy, either. Russell hopes a feast like Friday's can bring people together.

"To celebrate their service, to celebrate them, and to celebrate this great nation that they served," she said.

But that's not all Morales and his wife, Jimmy, celebrated. The two got married on Oct. 19.

"I thought it was exciting, especially at the time of your life where you get older and you don't really think you're going to find that love again," Jimmy Morales said.

Whether they celebrated finding love or just shared a meal with each other, seeing all the effort put into Veterans One Stop's Thanksgiving feast made it all the better.

"It makes me feel proud that they're supporting us now," Morales said.

This is the second year Veterans One Stop hosts a Thanksgiving feast.

Last year, they expected a little more than 200 veterans and family members to show up. Instead, they served twice as many people, Russell said.

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