Ask a veteran about the holidays during war time.
“There were people over there that spent to holidays in country. You didn’t really get any hot meals. You eat a lot of rations,” said Jim Davis, an Army veteran.
One metro Detroit community is working to create better holiday memories for those who bravely served their country.
Nearly every community in metro Detroit has a memorial as a reminder of the sacrifices that veterans made serving their country. However, the veterans we spoke with say sometimes the gesture of providing a Thanksgiving dinner can go even further.
It’s an idea that began in Westland three years ago by a state representative, a mayor, and a veteran.
"I'm a veteran and I’m a very vocal veteran in our community. State Representative Robert Kosowski, three years ago approached me and said ‘Hey Vic, what can we do for the veterans?’" said Vic Barra, President of the Wayne-Ford Civic League.
"It was very helpful that Vic stepped up and he’s helping the veterans, giving them a dinner, and giving them all the fixings. It’s fantastic,” said Davis.
"Let's put a holiday meal on their plate and get their holiday started off right for Thanksgiving," said Barra.
In the beginning, the Wayne-Ford Civic League along with Westland Mayor William Wild passed out frozen turkeys.
“The first year, we had 50. This year we’re hoping to have well over 100. Our concept is that we give them a whole meal in a box. This meal will feed about six people,” said William Wild, Mayor of Westland.
"It's great that we can sit down with our families and enjoy Thanksgiving, maybe with a dinner that you couldn’t afford,” said Davis.
Anyone in need can call the mayor to sign up by Monday, November 21st. The meals will be passed out the following day.
“Every time we reach out to them and make them feel just a little better, or important about their role in serving our country,” said Barra. “I know it means a lot to them.”
"It makes me feel prouder that I served in the Army as a veteran," said Davis.
Donations will also be accepted at the Civic League and city hall in Westland.