SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) -This Memorial Day will be very different this year with many services canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Friday the Shreveport VA hospital decided to honor this special day and local veterans with a hot dog drive-thru.
“Every year we have to face events," said Director Richard Crockett. " This is the first year that we haven’t so this is — it means a lot to us especially at the VA.
Carole Mullen and her husband came by Friday in their patriotic-themed car.
Carole Mullen “We actually didn’t come for the hot dogs, we came for the celebration," she said. "But a hot dog is always nice.
Faith Johnson served in the Air Force Reserves for 20 years and was very excited to come out Friday.
“It makes us feel like we’re normal and appreciated with this pandemic," she said. "It’s just an opportunity to get out of the house, and it’s just a great thing and I want to thank the VA for doing this.”
Crockett says this event wasn’t just a way to honor Memorial Day, but also say hi and thank veterans here in the ArkLaTex.
“We miss them," he said. "We haven’t seen them for a month and a half and we’re really getting homesick for them. This is our way of just reaching out and connecting with them again.
The Patriot Guard Riders also made a stop at the VA Friday too.
“We knew the hospital was doing a thing with the hot dogs today and we usually do a ride into the veterans’ cemetery on Memorial Day," said a rider, Louis McGinty. "That’s shut down this year but we still wanted to do something.
McGinty brought his bugle and played taps while onlookers stood in a moment of silence.
“All those veterans that have come before us that are no longer with us we just wanted to show our little way of showing our support,” he said. “We couldn’t enjoy what we’re doing today if it wasn’t for all those that came before us, (and) they don’t need or deserve to be forgotten. We need to remember.”
The VA handed out around 600 hot dogs to veterans, and they also provided them with free reusable masks.