YOUNTVILLE — Not only did Army veteran Ray Trevino get his Thanksgiving cheered up Thursday by the 349th Air Mobility Wing reservists who served him a Thanksgiving meal at the Yountville Veterans Home, but his labrador retriever Thorn did as well.
After Air Force Reserve Lt. Col. Cheryl Spray thanked Trevino for his service to his country and served him turkey with all the fixings, she also gave Thorn a much-appreciated scratch on the chin.
“This is really beautiful and we are very thankful,” Trevino said. “It’s nice to spend some time with these airmen.”
The 349th Air Mobility Wing reservists have made the trek to Yountville every Thanksgiving for 12 years with the number of volunteering reservists getting larger each year.
This year, as usual, the response from the wing has been overwhelming, according to organizers who say it is an honor to serve and talk with the veterans.
“Every airman who has gone out there are just blown away by what they (the veterans) have done. It gives you a lot of pride,” Senior Master Sgt. Bill Reed said of spending time with the veterans, who he describes as “the ones who came before us, the ones who paved the way.”
They not only serve meals to veterans in the main dining hall, but also deliver meals to other parts of the veterans home at Eisenhower Hall, Holderman Hospital and the Memory Care Center.
“This is a good idea, vets and real soldiers getting together,” said Korean War veteran Phil Szuszitsky as he was being served. “I was surprised. I have only been here 10 months and I didn’t know these people were going to be here until I came to the dining room.”
Maj. Samuel Dickson was serving beverages and called this an excellent way to spend part of his Thanksgiving, showing appreciation for those who served before him.
“We owe a lot to the generations who came before us,” Dickson said.
Brig. Gen. John Flournoy said, “It is such a pleasure to serve those who have served us,” to listen to them and talk about what it was like to serve the country then and to serve now.
Several 349th members, such as Master Sgt. Duane Nesbisch, had their families with them, who also served the veterans. Nesbisch’s wife, Maj. Susan Labrecque, and sons Mitchel and Paul Nesbisch, all said that honoring and helping the veterans is an important part of their Thanksgiving holiday.
Reach Ian Thompson at 427-6976 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ithompsondr.