Veterans, first responders treated to free turkey dinner

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BISMARCK, N.D. - Thousands of veterans and first responders were treated to a free turkey dinner Wednesday thanks to 12 Bismarck-Mandan businesses that worked together to provide the feast.

Turkey and stuffing is just a small step towards thanking those who serve our country, but it's appreciated all the same.

Twelve-thousand pounds of turkey getting dished out with all of the fixings to honor those who serve our country.

"Especially in North Dakota veterans are really appreciated. It's just such a grand event to be part of something like this, and for what those people do it's just really gratifying," said Brig. Gen. Harvey Haakenson, Retired Deputy Adjutant General.

Not only veterans, but first responders were treated to a feast as well. Thousands between 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

"These guys are so big in our lives, and we just love hearing all of the thank you's and telling them 'thank you for your service,'" said Steve Schwan, CEO Schwan Buick GMC.

All they had to do was provide proof of service for the free tickets.

"Well, it recognizes people for what they've done and what they've been through, and the commitment they made, and the price they paid," said Haakenson.

And at the front of the room, a place was set for those that have given the ultimate sacrifice.

The empty chair is another symbol that those what have served America are never forgotten.​