Metro Detroit businesses thank veterans with holiday lunch

Dozens of local veterans in need took a bus ride from Detroit to Auburn Hills for festive holiday lunch.

"I think it makes a huge difference because sometimes we have people who suffer from depression and things like that, and just feeding them lunch, letting them know that they're appreciated, can be a huge difference in their day," said Christina Golden, case manager with the Michigan Veterans Foundation.

The foundation has been helping struggling veterans for years. Today they have a little help.

"It's an honor as owner of Alfaccino's to give away to these men and women," said Sunny Palaj. "When I see them enjoying a beautiful lunch and I see the smiling on their face and the enjoyment they get out of this and appreciation, it's just a beautiful thing."

Teaming up with Dollar Castle and Alfoccinos in Auburn Hills, the veterans foundation came together to bring these veterans something that every soldier can appreciate: A hot meal.

"It was absolutely great. Kind of growing up kind of poor I really didnt get a chance to experience a lot of different kind of foods like that. But the food was absolutely perfect, I will have to come back again," said veteran Anthony Brown.

The program at the Michigan Veterans Foundation is focused on finding veterans one thing: A way to get their lives back. They provide resources to help the transition of homeless veterans, from finances to mental health and even taking those in that have no where else to go. 

"I had a drug and alcohol problem, and they helped me get through that," Brown said. "It's a place to get yourself to together without being too humiliated. ... Everybody's having a hard time there and I'm just grateful to the vet center for being there for people like me."

Gratitude, and even simple outings like this can mean the world to a veteran that might feel lost.

"It's so nice to be treated with such warmth and gratitude because I didn't get into this thinking that 'oh I'm going to be thanked for this' it was just my job. And to come back and to see these people giving back to us, it's really heart warming. And it makes me have faith in people again," said veteran Xavier Montaigu.