Veterans receive free meal, clothes and more on Christmas

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Valley veterans were treated to a free Christmas dinner in Fresno on Wednesday as a 'thank you' for their service.

Leanna Torrey says when she realized there are some veterans in the Valley who are by themselves during the holidays and don't have anyone to be with, she decided to do something about it.

"That made me real sad, so I started making phone calls and invited them to have Christmas dinner together," she said.

Hosted by the Central Valley Veterans Organization, the veterans were given a meal, clothes and even some important stocking stuffers.

"I was happy we were going to be able to fulfill a need, but I was really sad there were so many that didn't have someone to be with," Torrey continued.

Bill Gonzalez has served for two years and said a Christmas dinner isn't always in the cards for these veterans, which made the day all the more special.

"A lot of them don't really have the means to put a good dinner on for their kids and stuff," said Gonzalez.

"To me, it's a hand-up and not a handout," continued Gonzalez. "You're giving them a hand to help themselves get out of that hole, to get out of that rut."

To share a holiday meal and some laughter with their fellow veterans this Christmas Day.

"A veteran won't talk to you or someone else about their issues, they'll talk to another veteran," continued Gonzalez. "We're here to help them and they can go out and help someone else, just pass it on."

"I just don't want them to be alone," added Torrey. "They did a lot for us. If it wasn't for them we wouldn't be here. I wouldn't be able to do what I'm doing."
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