Vets Overwhelmed by Early Thanksgiving Dinner

November 18, 2012 Updated Nov 18, 2012 at 8:47 PM EDT

By Kendra Eaglin

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November 18, 2012 Updated Nov 18, 2012 at 8:47 PM EDT


Buffalo, NY
(WKBW)

At the VA Medical Center in Buffalo Sunday afternoon there was music, entertainment for the kids and all the favorite comfort foods of fall for needy and homeless veterans.

"We today are serving our America's heroes," said Judith Kaczmarek who helped organized the VA dinner.

"I served in the military for 6 1/2 years and I was a Marine and I was into aviation, and the military was awful good to me," said local veteran Edward Swygert.

Celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday the Sunday before Thanksgiving has been a tradition for the past 12 years.

"We always have it the Sunday before Thanksgiving so that our veterans and those that are needy can have a meal, and can have two meals that week," Kaczmarek,

Many of the veterans find themselves in dire straights. Some homeless, and some with no family to share the holidays with but this dinner is how they can connect with others who share similar pasts.

"It's my first time here and it's like a Thanksgiving I won't have anybody around thursday to have a Thanksgiving so I'm having it today with my friends," Tom Guiher, a veteran.

"It ain't like it was 30 or 40 years ago when you come home and you know, nothing. Now we can look forward to events like this,"said Edward Swygert.

And it's not just the veterans who look forward to the dinner, volunteers like Amy and Clay Claxton do too.

"A lot of people say, 'why do you do it? You do it because of our veterans and you're grateful for what they've done for you and without what they've done for us we wouldn't be here today," said the Claxtons.

In the end it's food for the soul for everyone in the spirit of Thanksgiving.

This year the VA offered transportation to go around to designated spots to pick up the homeless and the needy.