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Pueblo group donating turkey dinners to veterans

Pueblo Chieftain - 12/14/2018

Dec. 14--Dozens of local veterans and their families will soon be feasting on hearty turkey dinners thanks to the charitable donations of the American GI Forum Pueblo Women's Chapter.

The AGIF will be hosting its fourth annual Christmas Holiday Basket giveaway on Saturday, where 80 local veterans will receive gift bags full of canned goods, potatoes, and a full-sized frozen turkey in anticipation of the upcoming holiday season.

"This is our way of saying 'Thank you' and putting a rubber stamp on our organization that our veterans of all wars are not forgotten," said AGIF Pueblo Women's Chairwoman Patsy Vasquez-Contes.

"It's our way of showing our appreciation during the holidays."

The 80 vets who previously have been chosen by the AGIF to receive Christmas food baskets will do so between 11:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Saturday at the AGIF Pueblo chapter location, 125 Hector Garcia Place.

By having the vets come to the forum to pick up their baskets, Vasquez-Contes said members of the AGIF are able to shake the hands of the participating veterans in order to thank them for their service to the U.S. military.

"We do a meet-and-greet and get a personal handshake in there and thank them for their service, and more importantly, our freedom," she said.

"It gives us a one-on-one to talk to them and the opportunity for that face-to-face connection."

Utilizing donations through local partners like the Pueblo Walmart, the Pueblo Fraternal Order of Eagles, Pueblo District Attorney Jeff Chostner, as well as monetary donations from community members, AGIF volunteers will be purchasing the gift bags Saturday morning and packaging them prior to the giveaway.

"We're keeping up that tradition because this is how we live in this free world: because of these brave, courageous men and women that stepped up and defended this country proudly," Vasquez-Contes said.

"So we want to say thank you personally."

zhillstrom@chieftain.com

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