DERIDDER, LA (KPLC) - There was home cooked turkey to fresh banana pudding, the VFW Post 3619 in DeRidder made Thanksgiving feel like one thing; home.
For the 4th year in a row, the VFW Post hosted a military Thanksgiving dinner. The event was open to all active duty military and veterans to enjoy a Thanksgiving meal with their families. The VFW Post's commander Matthew West says he wanted members to feel at home.
"We make it more home friendly," says Wets. "Families can sit at a table and enjoy each other's company."
West also says he didn't want members to worry about making Thanksgiving dinner and simply enjoy it.
"This is a way for veterans helping veterans to give back to them," says West. "Allow them a chance that they don't have sit and cook and slave over a stove for their families."
Two-year member Jaime Anderson works with the Lady's Auxiliary at the post and has celebrated Thanksgiving with them ever since. She says she does it in honor of her husband who served in Afghanistan and retired last year.
"It was two weeks before he came home from his tour in Afghanistan," said Anderson. "An IED went off underneath him."
Though she says her husband still suffers from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, she wants her family to know that Thanksgiving means more than just a dinner.
"It gives us the true meaning of being thankful for everything we have to come down here and spend the day with people that may not be your family and understand family and friends are your family too," says Anderson. "Even if you can't be close, being an army family, you have to take friends as your family."
The event was organized by the VFW Post 3619's secretary, Denis Hoffpauir. Food and set-up was all brought together by volunteers including the women of the post's Lady's Auxiliary.
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