SPRINGFIELD, Mo.- Veterans from around the Ozarks and their families were treated to a Thanksgiving meal today at the American Legion Post 639.
Two veterans told OzarksFirst they have found their home away from home.
Reporter: “Do you come here every single Thanksgiving?”
Navy Veteran Donald Weiss: “I come here every single day almost?”
Weiss said the Thanksgiving meal consisted of all of the stuff that’s “bad for us old folks, but we love it anyway.”
Anyone was welcome to attend the meal at American Legion 639.
“A lot of us veterans, and I’m one of them that’s single and lives alone, and this is our home away from home, and these are the best friends I’ve ever had,” said Weiss.
Club Room Manager Mia Harvey says they’ve worked all week preparing for Thanksgiving.
“Going table to table, it’s usually a lot of families just reminiscing the old days,” said Harvey.
“Where we were thirty years and forty years ago and what we were doing and things like that. We also tell war stories, and sometimes we tell the truth,” said Weiss.
Harvey says on top of the regulars like Weiss; there are new faces among the crowd like Marine Veteran Pat McCollum.
“I was on my way to California, and my truck kind of went blah, so I limped it back here to Springfield, and I have it here in the shop,” said McCollum. “Everybody’s at home in Orlando, Florida and my fleet manager Tom who’s a manager here kind of brought me over, and it’s been great.”
McCollum says he also found a home away from home this Thanksgiving.
“There’s a commonality and a fellowship with the people here because we’ve all shared most of these same experiences, so it’s so much better. It’s much better than being alone,” McCollum said.
Organizers say they probably served around 50 to 60 people this afternoon.