Serving those who served

Army National Guard veteran George Yarbrough, left, and Navy veteran Roy Williams, center, share a laugh with the Brandin’ Iron’s Josh Speakman during the Brandin' Iron's 2017 Thanksgiving meal. 

For the fourth straight year, the Brandin’ Iron Steakhouse, Saving Forgotten Warriors and the Hometeam Network are teaming up to provide free Thanksgiving meals to veterans and their families. 

The meals will be served at the Brandin’ Iron’s West Point location on Monday, Nov. 25 from noon to 6 p.m., and all veterans are welcome to come and bring their loved ones, said Brandin’ Iron Manager and Saving Forgotten Warriors Public Relations representative Josh Speakman.

“We feed any veteran and their family or caretaker,” he said. 

Members of the Cullman County Sheriff’s Office will also be delivering meals to homebound veterans in the area on the same day, and anyone who knows a veteran who is unable to attend in person should call the restaurant with their name and address at least one or two days in advance to make sure they get their meal, he said. 

Speakman said everyone involved in the Thanksgiving meal want to show their appreciation for those who have served in the military, and restaurant staff and members of the Saving Forgotten Warriors team will be joined by a host of volunteers from around the community to make sure veterans are recognized for the holiday. 

“We like to give back,” he said. “The least we can do is feed them.” 

The Brandin’ Iron has offered Thanksgiving meals for veterans for the past three years, and the number of meals has grown from around 300 meals the first year to 1,000 meals given away last year, Speakman said.

“It seems to be a pretty incredible event every year,” he said. 

While veterans may come for the Thanksgiving meal, they usually stay to spend more time with other veterans from around the area, Speakman said. 

He said many veterans don’t always get the chance to get out and spend some time with fellow service members, and they will oftentimes move to the restaurant’s back room after eating to reminisce and just be around others who have shared some of the same experiences.

“They sit around and talk for hours,” he said. 

Speakman said it costs around $10 to feed a veteran and their family, and the event’s organizers are always looking for new sponsors to help provide a free meal for those who have served.

For more information about the Thanksgiving meal, call Speakman at 256-736-3814 or at 256-739-1112 after 5 p.m.

Tyler Hanes can be reached at 256-734-2131 ext. 138.

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