Easter Sunday is a time to spend with family and friends, but for some local veterans that’s not the case. “Most of these guys on a day like today would be you know out on the streets somewhere in Rockford.” Said Jeremy Ramsey, of the Rockford Veterans Drop In Center.
Lucha Cantina, a popular Rockford Restaurant put a stop to that Sunday. They fed over fifty veterans a completely free meal. The owner of Lucha Cantina, Joshua Binning said “Part of the mission statement for our restraint is to make a difference in the community, and we figured this is a good opportunity for us and we looked for some organizations and thankfully the Rockford veterans drop in center was more than happy to get their people here and fill the room for us”
The kind gesture did not go unnoticed by the veterans; they gave a standing ovation to the restaurant staff. Thomas Murphy, a veteran who has been living in the Rockford area for the past 5 years said the support is heartwarming. “It’s so very nice to have people say just come in and sit down and eat, don’t worry about it.”
That is exactly the atmosphere Lucha Cantina wanted their guests to feel. “They have been more thank thankful, and gracious, and we are just happy to host them.” Said
Rockford’s veteran drop in center helps hundreds of struggling Stateline vets, and this event shows that community involvement is key. “This is a huge thing for these guys, that someone on Easter Sunday would say you know what, no strings attached, we just want to thank you for your service.” Said Ramsey
Murphy says the Rockford community is great at giving back. “A lot of people come in and donate their time to the vets, it is nothing really big for them to do it, but for us we really appreciate it, especially at the vets drop in center.”
The Veterans Drop In Center serves hundreds of vets in the community and is always looking for volunteers or other local businesses to host events. Their ultimate goal is to have the center be open 7 days a week.