SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — Dozens of local restaurants will be donating hundreds of meals to our ill and injured service members here in San Diego all month long.
On Thursday, Specialty Produce in San Diego packed dozens of healthy farmers market boxes to donate to our local military veterans living at the Warrior Foundation Freedom Station, a transitional residential facility for our ill and injured post 9/11 veterans.
"I served in Iraq and Afghanistan. I ended up getting injured in Afghanistan. I took an IED blast to the upper portion of my body," said Povas Miknaitis, a retired Marine.
He spent three years in the hospital getting surgery after surgery.
"Given everything that you went through to serve your county, would you do it again?" I asked. "Without a doubt," answered Miknaitis.
Specialty Produce has teamed up with the California Restaurant Association to provide 700 meals to our brave service members through the Warrior Foundation.
"We really appreciate their service and what they have done for the country and we just wanted to give back to them," said Rick Daniel, Manager at Specialty Produce.
"The outpouring of support from the community is more important than the actual food," said Greg Martin, President, Warrior Foundation Freedom Station and retired Marine Corps Colonel.
Martin said that since some of our recent battles have happened in November, this month can resurrect some bad memories for those who have served.
And the restaurant association choosing this month to give back, when many restaurants are struggling themselves, truly embodies the spirit of service.
But being able to break bread together is a healing, bonding experience.
"This will be over several dinners actually at restaurants including delivery to the naval hospital and to wooded warrior barracks at Camp Pendleton," said Martin.
Miknaitis says these gifts will really help our humble heroes.
"You have sacrificed so much for us, this is a small token of appreciation, do you feel appreciated?" I asked.
"Very much so, yes," replied Miknaitis.
This month of giving thanks to our troops culminates into a finale on Nov 20 where the Warrior Foundation Freedom Station will hold a give-a-thon to raise money to fly our ill and injured military heroes home for the holidays.'