San Antonio Shoemakers, a longtime Operation Homefront (OH), partner, kicked off their Holiday Meals for Military (HMFM) event during the Thanksgiving holiday. More than 400 families attended the event, which allowed Operation Homefront staff and volunteers to meet some new people as well as catch up with some longtime friends.
One of the familiar faces – veteran Army Spc. Charles Henry – showed up at SAS Shoes in San Antonio. He and his three sons, ages 4, 10, and 12, were among the families served at the event, the fifth hosted by SAS Shoes.
“During Thanksgiving time, it’s always something we don’t have to think about because Operation Homefront is there for us,” he said.
This year’s Thanksgiving was going to be a special one. Charles planned to serve the meal to about 70 family members from across the country at his house, which he received in 2012 as part of Operation Homefront’s Homes on the Homefront (HOTH) program.
“We are still in the house,” he said. “We love it.”
Charles enlisted in 2008 to serve his country and help pay for college. He said OH has been there for him since he was a private back in Fort Campbell, Kentucky. Family support programs, such as HMFM and Back-to-School Brigade, have helped tremendously as his family grew.
In 2011, after a combat deployment to Afghanistan that left him wounded and required he medically retire, Charles applied for and was accepted into the HOTH program. He was able to attend UTSA and now works as a veterans’ advocate, helping to push legislation that benefits veterans in Bexar County, Texas and the United States.
He often tells people about Operation Homefront’s programs and the great support his family has received. He hopes donors and volunteers, like those at San Antonio Shoes who hosted the HMFM event, plus OH staff and volunteers know they are making a difference.
“My family thanks you,” Charles said. “We are very appreciative of the work they’ve done in San Antonio and throughout the United States. (Operation Homefront) is a great organization that changes veterans’ lives, as they did mine.”