MOUNT PLEASANT (KDKA) — The preparation started on Wednesday at the Mount Pleasant Armory and continued early Thursday morning as soldiers and their families serve the community in a different way this Thanksgiving day.

It’s a military operation and each volunteer has a very special task.

Some cooking turkey, mashed potatoes and stuffing; others making the corn and yams. And, of course, there are pumpkin pies aplenty.

“I like to cook, so to me, it makes me happy that I can help somebody that can’t do something like a turkey dinner or something like that,” Ed Holt, a volunteer, said. “We give them a good, wholesome meal, and they enjoy it.”

Susan Sapora is in charge of the gravy.

“It’s just something we do every Thanksgiving now,” says Sapura.

The meals are boxed by soldiers in the 1st Battalion, 110th Infantry Division out of Mount Pleasant, along with their families and friends.

They are then delivered to people across Westmoreland and Fayette counties who aren’t able to cook a Thanksgiving meal on their own.

“We get a lot from the community in terms of giving us soldiers and support when we are deployed or doing other things, and we just thought that this is a great way to do something back for our local community,” Maj. Richard Collage, of the 1st Battalion, 110th Infantry Division, said.

Michael Diener, a disabled veteran living in Everson, received a meal with a smile on his face and a big Thanksgiving thank you.

“It means everything,” says Diener. “I didn’t have a way to the store and this is gonna be my Thanksgiving.”

This is the 22nd year for the Thanksgiving tradition and one the soldiers plan to continue for many years to come.

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