ALBUQUERQUE, NM (KRQE) — More than 100 veterans got a tasty dinner for the holiday on Wednesday. The free meal was organized by local veteran organizations.
It was a meal served with love and a side of thank yous. Volunteers from various local veterans organizations gave free meals to the brave men and women who served.
The event at the New Mexico Veterans Memorial off Louisiana Boulevard in Albuquerque was funded primarily from the National Center for Veteran Studies (NCVS) based out of Utah. It was a mission to make sure veterans weren’t alone on Christmas Day.
“There is still that shared experience of duty to the nation, service to one another, and so being able to come together we can share stories with each other, we can connect around past memories, ” said Craig Bryan with NCVS.
More than 100 veterans came out to the luncheon, including Jamemin Gerdes who served in the Navy for 12 years. He said he’s recently fallen on rough times, even dealing with homelessness at one point.
However, he said this warm meal brightened his spirits and is even hoping to do more for other veterans.
“It’s a life-changer, it really is, for the last four months I have been actually connecting with veterans, developing friendships that are going to last and there’s a new motivation to actually give back, instead of take,” said Gerdes.
Organizers said they hope to do this type of event again next year.