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USO serves early Thanksgiving ‘No-Dough Dinner’ for service members

JOINT BASE LEWIS-MCCHORD, Wash. – If you were on Joint Base Lewis-McChord Thursday it may have looked like Thanksgiving came a week early.

That’s because the USO fed hundreds of service members as part of their ‘No-Dough Dinner’ service held each month.

The complimentary meal came with a healthy helping of gratitude for those who serve their country while away from home.

“It’s hard to be away and just be you all by yourself and have nowhere to go,” said USO volunteer Jane Hughes.

Military service members of all stars and stripes lined up for a slice of home – all while they’re serving out their duty.

“For us to be able to give back to them and thank you for their service, we get as much out of it as they do,” said USO’s Donald Leingang.

The USO has been lending a helping hand for military members across the country and around the globe for at least 77 years.

Thursday’s No-Dough Dinner is meant to help save these men and women in uniform a few bucks all while saying thanks.

“It’s really hard,” said service member Kaitlin Steiner. “I have kids now so it makes it a lot better. It could be worse.”

Steiner says she will again spend this year away from her folks in Montana – but thanks to the USO volunteers, Thursday’s meal feels like home.

“Just blessed and thankful for them having our backs too,” she said.

Thursday’s dinner is the USO’s 71ST free meal for folks living or working on JBLM. The meal was sponsored but a generous family all to say thank you for those who serve the rest of us.

“This is the opportunity for volunteers to say thank you for your service, time and we just appreciate everything they do,” said Leingang.