TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) - The plates were filled with gratitude on this Veterans Day, Nov. 11.
Dinner was served, to those who served in the armed forces, inside the Salvation Army Hospitality House near Speedway Boulevard and Main Avenue.
Veterans in attendance were seated and getting a pick-me-up from volunteers like Ron Palmer.
“You don’t criticize them. You just have a lot of support and try to help them out with whatever you can do," Palmer said.
More than 130 meals were served to those staying at the Hospitality House, including 11 veterans in attendance, “as a small token of our appreciation and we want the veteran community to know how much we care about them at The Salvation Army,” staff said.
It was a message to get those veterans, many who were homeless Sunday night, back on their feet.
Jerry Plunkett heard that message loud and clear. The United States Army Veteran is suffering from depression and PTSD, and was on the lowest road of his life, until he found shelter in the Hospitality House.
“I was basically giving up. I lost my apartment. Through God’s will, or whatever, I was able to come here and they really put the fight back in me," Plunkett said.
He stood proudly in the cafeteria, having come back for the Veterans Day meal after already getting help from the Salvation Army to find a new apartment elsewhere. On Sunday night, he had a warm, thankful meal, “among his comrades,” he said, who all have an unspoken bond.
“You learn what a brotherhood is," he said, talking about his time in the Army. “We know who each other are. There’s times we talked about it. You’re so glad that they come back alive.”
“There’s hope. People are actually looking out for you. There’s hope for your future. That’s what we want to do here for these veteran meals, as well," said Corey Leith, Public Relations Director for the Salvation Army of Tucson.
Hope and a salute from those serving those who served.
“I feel like it’s a privilege for me to do this," Palmer said.