US Navy veteran grateful for when The Salvation Army has been there for him

“It just made me feel safe in there, you see what I’m saying?”
Published: Nov. 24, 2022 at 6:21 PM CST
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SHREVEPORT, La. (KSLA) — Thank God for the dozens and dozens of volunteers who stepped up on a holiday like Thanksgiving Day.

Many helped The Salvation Army of Northwest Louisiana provide meals to hundreds of people on Thursday, Nov. 24.

The assembly line included people filling plates and running them out to families waiting in vehicles.

[RELATED: Salvation Army of NWLA to serve Thanksgiving meals]

One group of volunteers made it their mission to join this year’s efforts.

“The opportunity to serve, whether you’re at work, whether you’re at home, whether you’re out in the community, it transcends across all the means,” volunteer David Anderson said. “Really, it’s one of those things where we enjoy seeing the people’s eyes light up.”

Abbie Anderson said: “I think just being here together as a community today and seeing some wonderful people and being able to work with some wonderful people just really shows how much God impacts our lives and community. It shows His love for us through our community.”

One Navy veteran says The Salvation Army has helped him time and time again.

“In 1969, that Thanksgiving, I was on Hill 55, about 15 miles southwest of Da Nang. I spent Thanksgiving on that hill, with my U.S. Marines,” Anthony Pronette said as he recalled a Thanksgiving he celebrated while serving in Vietnam.

On Thursday, he celebrated with The Salvation Army as they fed him and several others.

Pronette also recalls another time when the nonprofit was there for him.

“When I left Vietnam in 1970, I came back to Allendale.”

Where he grew up in Shreveport, Louisiana.

He returned home ... at one of the lowest points in his life.

“At the time, I had sold my house. I was young and I ain’t know no better. I lost everything I had.”

Experiencing so much loss, Pronette found his silver lining in the form of a red badge.

“I noticed they had a Salvation Army in downtown Shreveport.”

It was then that a young Anthony found a warm home with The Salvation Army for the first time.

“I went in there and I spent two or three days in there. I was about 20 years old, and they put me in a sleeping area on the second floor.”

Anthony said that wasn’t the only time The Salvation Army helped him. And he’s grateful for the organization’s presence in his life.

“I appreciated The Salvation Army, man. Salvation. Army. The word salvation, then you got army on the end of it. It just made me feel safe in there, you see what I’m saying?”

As they fed him and others in need Thursday, Pronette felt nostalgic about the help he first received long ago.

“Just look around you, man. Look at the food for these people. They trying to look out for one another, and that’s what we gotta do.”