While most people spend Thanksgiving with their families, those serving our country oftentimes don't have that option. That's why Javelina Harley-Davidson and the Texas Hill Country Harley Owners Group hosted a Thanksgiving feast for almost 200 airmen and women from Lackland Air Force Base on Thursday.
This is the ninth year Javelina Harley-Davdison has hosted the meal and this year they escorted the buses of service members from Lackland AFB to their site in Boerne with a procession of over 100 motorcycle riders from the Hill Country Harley Owners Group.
For many of the young airmen and women, this is their first Thanksgiving away from home. Cell phones were made available to the service members to call their families for the holiday.
"It was a relief because I really missed my mom," Jesus Armendariz said.
Volunteers say that, on a day about giving thanks, it was their opportunity to thank these special guests for serving our country.
"They're off to do some really tough stuff, and our heart goes out to them. And we just want them to be safe. But this is our chance to do something for them," said Elsa Scarsdale with the Texas Hill Country HOGs.
Many of the volunteers were veterans who say that seeing the young servicemembers at the beginning of their military careers made them nostalgic.
"I look back and I see myself in them. And gosh, that was a lifetime ago and I'm just happy to be able to provide a little bit of comfort," said David Edwards, an Air Force veteran.
The day was an emotional one for many. Edgar Olmos, 18, had never spent a Thanksgiving without his parents. On Thursday, his parents drove 2.5 hours to surprise him at Javelina Harley-Davidson.
"The only things in my thoughts was I just wanted to give him a hug," said Karina Olmos, Edgar's mom.
"It means a lot," Edgar Olmos said. "I don't know why. I'm at a loss for words."