WARREN, Ohio (WKBN) – Many Trumbull County veterans will sleep with stocked kitchens and presents for underneath the tree on Christmas morning.
On Thursday, veterans picked up toys and food from Trumbull County Veterans Services in Warren.
“Having something like this to help me out, it means a lot to me,” said Ken Sypherd, who lives in Niles and served in the Air Force from 1986 to 1991. “I try to give back when I can.”
Veterans who are able to give donated to veterans who need some extra help during the holidays.
“It’s all done through the Salvation Army that, they make the recommendations and we take care of them,” said Steve Matijevic, commander for Disabled American Veterans Chapter 11.
“This is our fourth year that we’ve been able to put on this event, that we’ve been able to partner with the Salvation Army,” said Herman Breuer, director of Trumbull County Veterans Service Commission.
The Disabled American Veterans organization buys groceries and the Military Order of the Purple Heart handles gifts.
Throughout the day, people stopped by to pick up gifts, bags of groceries and say many thanks yous.
“It warms your heart this time of year to be able to give back to the people who served their country who might be in need at this time of year,” Matijevic said.
People like Sypherd, who has dealt with serious health issues in the last year.
“I haven’t been able to work because of everything that’s been going on in my life,” he said.
On Thursday, he walked out of the building with food, gifts and plenty of wrapping paper.
“Not being able to give my kids Christmas or being able to feed them has been very difficult and has added to my stress levels,” Sypherd said.
He’s a little less stressed ahead of this Christmas, giving a wave as he drove off.
“Merry Christmas and Happy New Year, and support your veterans,” Matijevic said.