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Eyes widened, Anglique Walz took sight of Patrick Patterson before his 6-foot-9-inch frame buried her in a hug. Walz, who served in the Navy during Operation Desert Storm, has been out of work for almost a year.
And with Thanksgiving just around the corner, the former seaman recruit aboard the USS Samual Gompers breathed a sigh a relief when she made her way through the line with a turkey dinner complete with sides and dessert to bring home.
The Thunder teamed up with the Oklahoma Department of Veterans Affairs (ODVA) to provide 400 meals to thank the veterans for their service in honor of Veterans Day, courtesy of Homeland.
"This is a huge blessing to see the Thunder and ODVA come together and help out vets this way," said Walz.
The afternoon featured tears of joy, high-fives and photo ops complete with Rumble the Bison and the Thunder Girls along with broadcasters Matt Pinto, Michael Cage and Chris Fisher to lend a helping a hand in the fun.
Not lost in the festivities of the day, Hamidou Diallo was all smiles as he shook every hand that came his way.
"We wanted to honor the veterans who fought for our country," said Diallo. "Giving back to the people who sacrificed for our lives everyday is amazing."