BLOOMSBURG -- Friday is Veterans Day when our nation will honor the men and women who served our country.
Thursday night, veterans in Columbia County got some early recognition. Geisinger-Bloomsburg Hospital once again offered its annual free dinner.
Military veterans and their guests packed into the dining room at Geisinger-Bloomsburg Hospital to be treated to a nice hot home cooked meal, all for free.
“This is our 13th year doing and this is the first year that we had a completely full house so thank you so much for coming tonight!”
The hospital holds this annual dinner the day before Veterans Day and on this year's menu was roast beef with plenty of sides and desserts.
The hospital says more than 400 people made reservations this year.
Because of the large turnout, the hour-long dinner is served at four different times on the hour, starting at 3 p.m.
“The meal's delicious and it's a very nice turnout,” said Jane Hough from Buckhorn. “I think they fill up four hours because they have it at three, four, five and six.”
“This is great, we were just talking about how many years it's been for us, we're enjoying it very much, to come back, it's a great deal, to see the people that do this,” said John Karcher from Catawissa.
Charles Brooking served in World War II and came wearing a t-shirt bearing the name “The Greatest Generation”.
“We saved the world although the present GIs are doing a real good job, we're proud of them all,” said Brooking.
Many of the volunteers are nursing students from Bloomsburg University.
“It means a lot to us that we're able to take our time and contribute, serving the people that served for us,” said nursing student Michel Mendoza.
And while this recognizes our living veterans, an empty table was set to remember those killed in combat or lost at war, the brave men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice, never to return home.