WEST MONROE, La. (KNOE) - Many restaurants recognized local veterans on Veteran’s Day, with many offering a free meal.
"It is so awesome to see so much patriotism in our area," Raven Peterson says. Veteran’s Day holds a special place in the Blue Star Mothers of Northeast Louisiana president’s heart. She says a simple thank you goes a long way for veterans and their families.
"It's as simple as writing a letter, doing a donation, a free meal or something,” Peterson says. “Just a thank you. Just to go to a veteran thank you for your service means the world to all of our veterans."
On Monday, Texas Roadhouse showed its appreciation feeding all veterans free lunch.
Managing partner Nick Van says it was important to do. "We just don't realize the sacrifice that they have to go to and the family has to go through or currently going through,” Van says. “It is important that we continue to show appreciation and never forget it."
Connie Commenia feels the love. "I feel grateful for what they do, because they don't have to do it,” Commenia says. “They don't have to spend their money, but I appreciate them for appreciating us for what we did for our country."
The 39-year veteran says she's grateful for days like today, because she gets to reconnect with other vets too.
"I'm just so proud to have served my country. Not only that. The camaraderie all veterans have. When you're in the military, it's like a big family. We're a big family. So, when we see each other, we just love on each other."
That hits home for other vets like David Whittington, who's thankful to have made it back. "I paid a small price,” Whittington says. “There's a lot more that paid a lot more than I did. I lost two good friends in Vietnam."
For Nell Calloway, whose father and grandfather served as well, saying thank you for each veteran's sacrifice isn't enough.
"We need to educate our young people,” Calloway says. "Take your children, teach them about service and sacrifice. Teach them about the fact that these men served a cause far greater than themselves."