'1,000 Points of Light:' Purple Heart Vietnam Vet Volunteers at Veterans' Thanksgiving Feast - NBC 7 San Diego

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'1,000 Points of Light:' Purple Heart Vietnam Vet Volunteers at Veterans' Thanksgiving Feast

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    Purple Heart Vietnam Vet Volunteers at Vets' Thanksgiving Feast

    NBC 7's Gaby Rodriguez spoke to a special set of hands behind the volunteer effort who remembers a different time for veterans in America. (Published Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2018)

    Volunteers spent Wednesday night prepping all the fixings for a big Thanksgiving feast for North County veterans, but for one volunteer it’s about more than just providing food.

    His name is Scott Spiering. He’s a two-time Purple Heart recipient who remembers a time when Americans like himself weren’t celebrated.

    “We walked into a Vietcong trap in the morning and it managed to take out quite a few of the people that were with me. I got a few shots to the leg,” Spiering said.

    Spiering said he’s giving his time to make sure homeless, retired and active-duty vets coming to the North County Thanksgiving Feast get their bellies filled while surrounded by good company.

    “When I came back from Vietnam, we weren't very much appreciated,” he said. “To see the outpour for veterans today is heartwarming.”

    Spiering said the volunteer effort is what America is all about.

    “You know George H.W. Bush talked about a thousand points of light. Now I know what that means -- all these great volunteers,” he said.

    Inspired by the kindness he sees among his fellow volunteers, Spiering hopes veterans walk away from the table Thursday knowing their compatriots care.

    Homeless Veterans of San Diego founder Kelly Luisi told NBC 7 she started putting on the holiday dinner last year. Her involvement with veterans is motivated by the loss of her brother who was killed by an IED during his second tour in Iraq.

    Her organization spared no details for the special meal. Centerpieces, linen, sides both sweet and savory, and the most important component of all -- Love.

    After hours of work, deserving veterans will be served at 11:30 a.m. Veterans looking for a table to sit at on Thanksgiving can RSVP through the Homeless Veterans of San Diego’s Facebook page

    Luisi says Homeless Veterans of San Diego has been able to take more than 40 veterans off the streets in the past year. They offer help to veterans across San Diego County.

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