San Antonio Fire Department hosts Lackland trainees

Future airmen treated to family style Thanksgiving, relaxation

Author: Tim Gerber , Reporter,
Published On: Nov 22 2012 04:37:02 PM CST   Updated On: Nov 22 2012 05:51:27 PM CST

For the seventh year, the San Antonio Fire Department played host to several trainees from Lackland Air Force Base for Thanksgiving.

Arriving on a VIA bus, 36 trainees were welcomed by firefighters at Fire Station No. 16.

From there, the trainees were divided up and sent to spend the day at 18 different fire houses.

"We're just trying to get everybody here to understand that we're all still one big happy family and that we can sit down, relax and just remember what Thanksgiving is about," said Rodney Hubbard of the San Antonio Fire Department.

The trainees, many finding themselves away from home for the the first time, were treated to family style Thanksgiving meals cooked by the firefighters.

While most trainees end up in someone's house for the holiday, Justin Thompson felt right at home inside a fire station. Thompson's dad is a firefighter so he already knew firemen make good cooks.

"My dad makes a wonderful ham that he marinates for 12 hours," Thompson said. "I know all the firemen have one specialty that they do, so all the food every holiday is great."

The first year SAFD hosted trainees, they only got a handful of young men and women. Participation has grown each year and the department hopes to one day have trainees at every station in the city.

The holiday gave the trainees a chance to relax and blow off some steam and allowed the firemen to say thank you for their service to their country.

"We get to sleep and eat and have this great country because these gentlemen and women are out there fighting for our lives," Hubbard said. "It's nice being able to thank them in person for doing the job they do basically to protect us so we can have the lives we do."