SAN ANGELO, Texas – Christmas is about a lot of things including time spent with family but everyone’s job, specifically those who serve, are not afforded that luxury. Veterans of Foreign Wars hosted their annual Christmas dinner to celebrate with their fellow brothers in arms.

“The holidays, even though is a big time to come together, its actually a lot of the time where veterans like to separate themselves and active duty as well,” said Luis Martinez, Chairman of the All Veterans Council of Tom Green County. “We don’t want them separated, we want to let them know, hey we have an avenue for you to come on down and realize you have a bigger family here.”

Santa made an appearance to see what the kids wanted for Christmas and there was delicious homemade Mexican food which might be Luis’ favorite part.

“I love food! Whether its dessert, whether its turkey, enchiladas, but I think my most favorite part I have is that, sometimes you have an opportunity to have a World War II or Korean veteran to sit down with an OIF or a Gulf War veteran, or even active duty who’s serving now, just to bridge that gap,” said Martinez.

The veterans council also invited not just those who served but anyone that was hungry.

“I love San Angelo because San Angelo has open arms right so its like if you need help come on down. We’re going to help you. I don’t care if you served, didn’t serve, if you need food come on down,” said Martinez.

Tech sergeant Emerson, spoke to how hard being away from family is during the holidays but that there is a silver lining.

“Were from all over the united states, so not being able to see our immediate family as you traditionally or as many people traditionally do, that creates some hardships but at the same time it creates some advantages because we build new families,” said Eric Emerson, TSgt for the United states Air force.

21 years spent in the marine corps is ralph who told me how much it means to him celebrate the holidays with his brothers in arms.

“It’s absolutely great to be celebrating it with them. I try to get with them every chance I can because who knows where their going,” Ralph Mathews, a retired Marine Corps veteran.

544 meals and whole lot of Christmas cheer were served today thanks to the veterans of foreign wars.