38th Operation Thanksgiving - KAUZ-TV: Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

38th Operation Thanksgiving

On Thanksgiving Day there is a lot to be thankful for, including the men and women who serve our country.  Sheppard Air Force Base celebrated their 38th year of Operation Thanksgiving on Thursday. 

Newschannel 6 got to spend the day with one family who has been hosting airmen for eight years.  For them, it's all about giving back.

The Yeatts family knows what it's like to not be home for the holidays.

“I've got a son in law that's deployed and I have a daughter that's all alone in Georgia,” Frank Yeatts said, “So i like to think there is somebody that's doing the same thing for them.”

He said they like to invite them to the house so they can have a nice home cooked meal.

The family started cooking early Thursday morning, and everyone pitched in.  However, the airmen weren't the only ones going to the Yeatts's house for Thanksgiving.  They expected 30 more people to join the holiday fun!

“I love having everybody here because it's my favorite holiday,” Payton Fookes said.

Omer Luciano and Nathan Dirig haven't been at the base for very long.  They said they have been there for three weeks.  So, this is the first time to be a part of Operation Thanksgiving, but they still missed their families.

Hopefully next year I'll get to add up about ten days and take those ten days for Thanksgiving and Christmas,” Luciano said.

Dirig said he wasn't able to go home because he is saving up his leave days for Christmas.  However, both airmen are grateful for taking them in.  They said it felt like they were back home with family.

“I think it's pretty cool though because it gives military people who can't see their families right now, get to be in a family atmosphere,” Dirig said.

Luciano said it's amazing that the family is taking time out of their day to do this for them.  Dirig said he is also grateful.  However, both said there are other things to be thankful for.

“I'm thankful for my family.  I'm thankful to be in the United States Air Force.

For the Yeatts family, they said it's an honor to have them in their home because they are grateful for their service.

“We enjoy the guys,” Frank said.

If you weren't about to take part in Operation Thanksgiving this year, you have next year.  It means so much to the airmen!

Alexandra McClung, Newschannel 6     
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