Fight the War Within hosts third Thanksgiving Day feast

Published: Nov. 24, 2022 at 9:39 PM EST
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SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - When everyone else is with their families eating a spread of holiday food, the Fight the War Within Foundation wanted to make sure those who can’t still have an invite to dinner.

It’s what brought a couple of local servicemen and women to the Whitefield Center.

“I’m a veteran of the women Marine Corps,” said Bett Layfield Todd, a former Marine. “My mailman is retired Army and he said I’m gonna look out for you and find you places to go and people to go with.”

This was Bett Layfield Todd’s first time meeting everyone here, including Christopher Alvarado.

“It honestly feels fantastic. It brings back memories of camaraderie and being around those that know what it takes to do the job we do,” said Christopher Alvarado, a former Marine.

Miranda Briggs, who founded Fight the War Within, a nonprofit for veterans, knows holidays can be isolating.

“So many people can be impacted by the holidays. If you’ve lost a loved one and it’s your first holiday without one...if your family lives out of town and financially you weren’t able to get with them,” she said.

Mental health is the core focus of the organization because veterans often need an outlet with everything they carry.

Briggs said: “If you’re already struggling with an internal war, it can be even more difficult.”

That’s why even though he didn’t realize it at first, today was what Alvarado needed.

“Especially when you think back to being out overseas doing Thanksgiving and you got thirty minutes to eat because you gotta get back to work.”

These veterans are thankful. For the chance to gather....

“Share my stories and hear their stories and in a way not be alone like sometimes we do in this world,” Alvarado said.

Layfield Todd said: “Being free in America is very important and everything we take for granted.”

And know they don’t have to be alone.

In fact, the foundation will have another holiday meal open to anyone who needs it again on Christmas Day.