1,500 Free Thanksgiving Turkeys Given To Military Families in Tennessee

by Lauren Boisvert
(Photo by The Good Brigade/Getty Images)

In Clarksville, Tennessee, military families are flocking downtown to get their free Thanksgiving turkey. The fifth annual Turkeys for Troops was underway this weekend in downtown Clarksville, where military members and their families can receive a free turkey for their Thanksgiving dinner.

The program distributed about 1,500 turkeys to families on Saturday, Nov. 19, according to a report from WKRN. The amazing charity is for active-duty soldiers, veterans, and their families. Each family received one frozen turkey and one 2-liter soda. Turkeys for Troops is a great way for Clarksville, Tennessee to give back to its military community and support those who maybe are not able to get a turkey this year.

Tennessee Gives Out Thanksgiving Turkeys, While National Park Service Recently Rolled Out New Lifetime Passes for Military Members and Families

On Veterans Day 2022, the National Park Service implemented a new pass for military members and their families. At first, there was the America the Beautiful Pass, which launched on May 19, 2012. That gave active-duty military members and their families free access to the 2,000 affiliated parks and memorials. Now, the NPS is offering free access to the parks for active-duty and military veterans as well.

“We have a sacred obligation to America’s veterans,” said US Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland in a statement. “This new lifetime pass is a small demonstration of our nation’s gratitude and support for those who have selflessly served in the U.S. Armed Forces. I’m proud the Department of the Interior can provide veterans and Gold Star Families opportunities for recreation, education and enjoyment from our country’s treasured lands.” 

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack also expressed gratitude toward military veterans. “Our national forests and grasslands represent so much of the beauty of the nation our brave service members have sacrificed so much for,” said Vilsack. “Though they can never be fully repaid, by connecting the families of the fallen and those who served with these iconic places, we can, in a small way, say thank you.” 

It’s not a Thanksgiving turkey, but it is an even better way to honor military members and veterans.

National Park Service Director Speaks On Behalf of Veterans

National Park Service Director Chuck Sams is a Navy veteran himself. As such, he has a unique perspective from both communities: the military and the National Park Service.

“This is a small token of appreciation for veterans who have bravely dedicated their lives to defending our freedom. This pass conveys our immense gratitude and respect for those who have given so much,” said Sams in a statement. “As a veteran, I know firsthand the many sacrifices that members of the Armed Forces and their families have made in service to our country, and I am thrilled that Gold Star Families and military veterans can now enjoy lifetime access to national parks and other public lands.”

Lieutenant General Scott Spellmon, Chief of Engineers in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, also spoke about the new pass. “The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and our federal teammates are proud to honor our veterans with free lifetime access to more than 2,000 federal recreation areas across the nation,” Spellmon said.