Veterans celebrate Thanksgiving together in Winchester

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Posted at 8:10 PM, Nov 25, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-25 20:11:17-05

WINCHESTER, Ky. (LEX 18) — By now you may have already wrapped up your Thanksgiving dinners with friends and family.

For those who have served in the military, Thanksgiving back at home might include other traditions.

"I knew that there were some veterans who were going to be alone on Thanksgiving," said Ronea Fowler, who served eight years in the Navy. "Or had very small families or dysfunctional families that they were going to be at and that wasn't going to be healthy for them."

Fowler came up with the idea for the first annual Thanksgiving dinner at the Lady Veterans Connect in Winchester.

"This is just kind of bringing back those fonder memories of being with in the service too," she said.

"We didn't necessarily have turkey," said Andy Kaichi, who served 20 years in the Army. "I remember one, I think it was one Thanksgiving that we had mini ravioli and meatballs out of a can."

She says a benefit from her time in the Army was meeting fellow service members, who felt like family.

"Sometimes we didn't get to be happy, so now I want to be happy," said Kaichi. "So this makes me happy."

In the midst of baking, cooking and preparing, they find ways to laugh and celebrate in a way that makes them thankful for each other.

"This makes Thanksgiving for me," Kaichi said. "This is a good time. This is Thanksgiving."