BISMARCK, N.D. (KXNET) — There are many ways to show gratitude and appreciation.
Sometimes it can be as simple as a good meal.

Steve Schwan, owner of Schwan Buick GMC Cadillac says the event has been going on for more than a decade.

“We’ve been doing it for 13 years. It’s a good way to pay back what these people have done, sacrificed. Our first responders, veterans, active military, and it’s just one small way for us and our sponsors to show this,” said Steve Schwan.

The meal is a way for local businesses to say thank you to those who have served our country and community. Those who attended were treated to a turkey dinner with all of the trimmings.

This was the first year Vietnam veteran Charles Murphy attended the event, and he says it was a great experience.

“Every year, I’ve been invited by Schwan Cadillac to come up here to have dinner with them, and I never made it. This is the first time we’ve made it. I have been talking to other veterans and so forth, and everything has been fantastic here. Now, this morning, we got here, and I saw Mr. Schwan and he welcomed us right away. It’s a really good time for veterans. It’s also a time to heal also,” reflected Charles Murphy.

Those in attendance, like Murphy, say the gesture does not go unnoticed.

“They mean a lot to us. To me, as an individual, they mean a lot to me,” shared Murphy, “Because a lot of veterans don’t get a meal. A lot of them are without a meal. A lot of them are homeless today. The federal government is not recognizing those individuals. They need to be recognized for what they have done. And we had not been recognized when we returned from Vietnam. And that’s where I spent my time, in Vietnam, back in the 70’s.”

Those who attended would like to thank Schwan Buick GMC Cadillac, HA Thompson & Sons, AAction Movers, Vallely Sports & Marine, First International Bank & Trust and Northwest Contracting, Inc for sponsoring the event.

The event saw around 1200 people in attendance.
Veterans and Active Duty and Guard Reserves, Police, EMS and Firefighters as well as their spouses were welcome to attend as well.