Hy-Vee stores throughout the Midwest celebrated Veterans Day by offering a free breakfast to all veterans and active-duty military members.
At the 156th and Maple Hy-Vee, the tribute included songs from Standing Bear Elementary School fourth-graders. Veterans said they were happy for the appreciation and missed those that never made it back.
"You know I appreciate it, it's just great. It makes you feel good that people appreciate what you did,” said Clark Sanders, retired from the Army.
"It’s quite an experience. It makes you think how lucky you are to be back and all the guys that didn't make it,” said Jerry Meysenburg, retired from the Air Force.
Hy-Vee said it expected to serve more than 80,000 veterans and their guests this year at more than 200 Hy-Vee stores in eight states. Since Veterans Day fell on a Sunday this year, it was also observed Monday across the metro.
At the Texas Roadhouse near 156th and West Dodge Road, all active, retired and former service members received a free lunch. During the noon hour crowds had already formed. Each meal included a six-ounce sirloin, two sides and a drink. Veterans said the appreciation for their service was warmly welcomed and was a great way to be honored.
"My brother was a Vietnam vet. When I joined the Air Force many years ago he wasn't very happy, it was just the way they were treated, the total values of Americans have changed or the way they look at veterans. It makes me proud that I served,” said Gale Westra, retired from the Air Force.
"It's kind of interesting to get together with some of the veterans from a lot of different wars. I wasn't in a war, I was in the service for 20 years, but never had to be in a war, met a lot of guys from the Korean and Vietnam wars. I hear a lot of stories and their sacrifices, it's nice,” said David Ellis.