Local groups say thanks to military community by feeding 400 families and veterans

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Military families and veterans from all backgrounds lined up Wednesday morning to receive a big thank you.

"We were in the Marines first, and then we were in the Army," said Lettie Prescott, a veteran.

After serving for 26 years Prescott and her husband were humbled by the generous donation of food and goods.

"It means a lot, means a real lot. Even if I'm older and we were in the military, it means a lot when people are out there helping. I used to help all the time, but now it's a time when I'm in need," said Prescott.

Mount Carmel Center of Excellence, The Coalition to Salute America's Heroes, Feed the Children, Care and Share and other agencies organized the distribution.

"One percent of our nation has served or is serving. They sacrifice so much. Many of them have five or more deployments. The families have sacrificed also," said Bob McLaughlin, chief operating officer of Mount Carmel Center of Excellence.

Four hundred local military families and veterans received a variety of goods, from nonperishable items to fresh produce.

"It's going to help right now with my husband being gone," said Tina Arnold, a military spouse.

More than 50 volunteers helped serve the families.

"With everything going on in the world, it's really nice to see the appreciation. We obviously appreciate it as well," said Brittany Braun, another military spouse.

Former Denver Broncos linebacker Randy Gradishar also showed up to offer his support.

"It's just real encouraging. It's just great to meet the people and an opportunity to say thanks for the veterans and the families," he said.

As we near Patriot Day on Sep. 11, organizers say that serves as another reminder to say thanks and give back.

"I am so thankful and happy they're out there to help us all. It warms my heart," Prescott said.

This is the second year Mount Carmel Center of Excellence hosted the food distribution. It was held at the Norris Penrose event center from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

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