CampV kicks off holidays with Thanksgiving lunch, campus Christmas decorating

CampV kicks off holidays with Thanksgiving lunch, campus Christmas decorating
Published: Nov. 22, 2022 at 7:33 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 22, 2022 at 7:34 PM CST
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TYLER, Texas (KLTV) - To help make the holidays a little more joyous and filled with company, CampV hosted their Thanksgiving lunch for veterans and began transforming their campus with Christmas decor.

Veterans and their families enjoyed a Thanksgiving lunch at CampV in Tyler. They host a weekly lunch on Tuesdays during the year and Travis Gladhill, CampV’s Executive Director said it’s been a big success.

“Veterans love to talk with other veterans. We have that commonality together. So when you come here at CampV and you’re a veteran or you’re a veteran family member, you’re part of the family,” he said.

Jason Galusha is the Veteran Services Director at CampV and has been in charge of what they’re calling, ‘Operation Sgt. Clause.’

“I thought it would be the best way to help veterans around Christmas time because Christmas can be a little tough on some people and it can be a lot harder on veterans,” Galusha said.

Part of Galusha’s efforts included organizing an Angel Tree for veteran families. East Texas organizations and individuals have stepped up to sponsor 14 angels. For Navy veteran Rufus Gee, he said time spent with other veterans has been beneficial for him.

“It’s a lot of fun. We sit and chat, talk about where we went when we were in service and everything, and all we had to do,” Gee said.

On top of all the festivities, Starbrite, one of CampV’s partners, was there with a horse. The two

groups are planning a partnership for early next year that will help veterans.

“We are working together on developing an equine therapy program specifically for veterans right here at CampV,” Gladhill said. “We’ve been working really hard on that and we’re hoping to be launching that within the first quarter of next year.”

All the decorations across the campus were donated. The angel tree families will be receiving their gifts on December 23.