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Operation Thanksgiving

It could be a recipe for disaster to spend Thanksgiving day with folks you've just met.
It could be a recipe for disaster to spend Thanksgiving day with folks you've just met.

But, cooked with care it could be a recipe for success.

Especially for airmen Travis Poynter, who plotted to skip Thanksgiving altogether.

“I was trying to pass it off as another day because I will get to go home for Christmas. So I was just trying to overlook Thanksgiving, but then I heard about this,” he said.

Operation Thanksgiving is a program where families in Texoma host airmen from Sheppard Air Force Base for Thanksgiving, because they are unable to be with their own families.

For airmen David Nunez Birrueta, just getting away from the base has him grateful.

“I have spent a lot of time in like a training mode and now I am being decompressed, where as I was tightly wound, and now I'm unwinding,” Nunez Birrueta said.

Unwinding by entertaining his "brother for the day," Quentin, the family's 3 year old son.

It's something both men in uniform were happy to do.

“I love it, because he loves kids, and he is full of energy,” said Poynter.

Frying up a Thanksgiving meal isn't something the Coons family had to do for a small family of three, but they said they couldn't think of any other way to show their gratitude.

“We are so thankful for the service that they do for our country and what they provide for our community and we just want to show our appreciation for all that they do,” said Sarah Coons.

“That's one of the reasons why I do service, because I am thankful for people. I joined to support people just like this,” said Poynter.

It's that gratitude and humble nature that brought these people at the table. 

Once strangers, now eating together.

One happy and grateful family.

Organizers of Operation Thanksgiving say this year they had about 300 families sign up to host airmen.

They say the turn out was so good, they had more host families then airmen.
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