Thousands of airmen spent their Thanksgiving away from home to serve their country and one woman has made it her mission to provide them with a delicious meal and company to make them feel at home.
"Our troops are our family," Cory Matranga said.
This year Matranga hosted six airmen for her annual Operation Home Cooking. It’s a Lackland Air Force Base program which pairs Air Force men and women with families to enjoy Thanksgiving Day.
Matranga has volunteered for 22 years, and this year she took it a step further.
"Airman Casey [Klimkiewicz] doesn't know that his mother is standing right outside my car," Matranga said.
Klimkiewicz thought he was just getting picked up by Matranga for Thanksgiving dinner when his mother surprised him. Matranga helped plan the surprise and captured the reunion as the two embraced.
"It means the world. Airmen don't get to call [home] every day," said Klimkiewicz, who left his home in Michigan nearly a month ago for training at Lackland Air Force Base. “It's not really the physical endurance, it’s mental and spiritual endurance.”
"We will do this until we can no longer do this," said Matranga of the program, which she’s been participating in since she retired from the Air Force.
As for Klimkiewicz, he says that Thanksgiving dinner is more than just a meal, it’s a reminder to airmen that the community cares about their sacrifices.