Instead of spending time at home with their families on Thanksgiving week, hundreds of U.S. military members in San Antonio will be on duty at Joint Base San Antonio-Fort Sam Houston.
But thanks to an annual event involving more than 250 Valero employee volunteers, they won’t be without a proper turkey meal.
On Thursday, a record 525 soldiers, sailors and airmen who train in the Army Medical Department Center are set to attend the 14th annual Thanksgiving with the Troops event, which fills an entire floor at Valero headquarters at One Valero Way in San Antonio.
Wondering what it takes to feed more than 500 young servicemen and women? That’d be over 250 pounds of turkey, 125 pounds of potatoes, 100 pounds of green beans, and of course dressing, gravy, rolls and desserts.
Also on the menu: a full helping of Thanksgiving Day parades and football games on the big screen, and the “Military’s Got Talent” contest organized by Valero employees. And if there are any meals leftover at the end of the day, that food is donated to a local VFW post.
The unique and inspiring event allows Valero volunteers to provide troops “time to relax and enjoy games, football and Thanksgiving dinner,” said Maureen Caspers, a training and development advisor at Valero and volunteer co-coordinator of Thanksgiving with the Troops.
On this annual day of gratitude, Valero employees continue coming out in droves for the opportunity to serve “men and women who make so many sacrifices to keep us safe at home,” Caspers said.
“It’s impossible to walk the floor without a huge smile,” said Scott Miller, a senior business intelligence development specialist at Valero and also volunteer co-coordinator of the event. “To see these young troops, many having never spent Thanksgiving away from their own family and friends, having such a great time and enjoying all of the food and activities, makes all of the time and effort put into the planning for this event worth every second.”