FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) --On National Donut Day, valley veterans were met with a kind smile and sweet treat as the Salvation Army handed out dozens of donuts.
The gesture was meaningful, especially to one veteran.
"I appreciate it," veteran John Perea said. "Because when I got back from Vietnam, people were cussing at me, spitting on me. They didn't want war."
Perea served in the Army in Vietnam and later on in the National Guard during Desert Storm, and he was touched by the act.
Although people across the country celebrate National Donut Day, it's roots are actually based in the military.
"Years ago in World War I, the Salvation lassies, when they were out on the front lines were helping the service men and ministering to them in different ways," Salvation Army Maj. Carole Abella said. "One of the things they did at the request of the soldiers is they wanted donuts."
Abella says the women actually cooked the donuts in helmets and the tradition of sharing a piece of home began.
Veteran Ivan Lasher was pleased to learn about the holiday's roots.
"I think its wonderful," he said. "You've got to give credit to all the young ladies that did all the work, I'll tell you that."
Salvation Army branches across the country take time every year on this day to make sure they show their support to those who have served our country.
Veterans say it's much appreciated.
"Big, small, in between," Perea exclaimed. "I really appreciate it."