Akinbowale Sofolawe salutes two veterans in his marine outfit, at the Denny’s on East State street, Wednesday morning. “Thank you for your service in America,” says he tells them.
Denny’s was packed with veterans from booth to booth. And it’s a free Grand Slam breakfast that is bringing them through the front door. “I think that it’s great they’re giving out free meals to veterans to show their appreciation for those that have served in the military, and fought for the freedom that they enjoy,” says veteran, Ariel Garcia.
Down the street, at Golden Coral, veterans like Donald Allen, got the chance to enjoy a free lunch. The restaurant chain has been doing this for decades but each and every veteran still feels the gratitude for their sacrifice. “It’s great for the food chains to honor the veterans this way. I appreciate it myself. It shows a lot of respect for us and that’s all we want is respect,” says Allen.
A respect that Garcia feels needs to be acknowledged more, worldwide. He believes the government needs to take care of its veterans better. “Such as the VA healthcare system, I think that needs to be amped up a little bit,” says Garcia.
In the mean time, veterans like Thompson say it was a privilege to serve, and now to share his story of sacrifice. “[I] was able to return and bring my message back and bring my stories back to my friends and my children,” says Thompson.