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There was a sense of appreciation this morning at Roanoke Rapids Fire Department Station1 as firefighters treated veterans to breakfast.

“I think it’s a great thing what they’ve done,” said Jimmy Baugham, one of the veterans attending the event. “The fire department worked hard on this. The school kids came in. Everybody’s done a wonderful job and all of us appreciate it. You just can’t imagine the feelings when you come here and see what these people have done.”

Fire Chief Jason Patrick told the veterans assembled in the truck bay, “This is about thanking these guys for serving our country and being there for us so we can enjoy the freedoms that we have.”

The idea for the breakfast came about this past Veterans Day. “They discussed how many times veterans don’t get the recognition they deserve. We started thinking about what we could do to give you guys more recognition for serving our country.”

This morning’s breakfast was the result of community sponsors — corporations, businesses and individuals — coming together, Patrick said. “Everything that’s been done here we had different sponsors that helped us out with it. It’s been overwhelming the support we’ve had from the community wanting to help out and giving things to go in the gift bags for the veterans.”

Pastor Jason Yeatts, who serves as chaplain for the fire department, said in the blessing over the food, “We thank you for the men and women that are represented in this room who have served for our country. They have fought for freedom in a variety of ways. They have given sacrificially, they have been on the front lines in places many of us have never been. We thank you for them in a world where they do not get as much appreciation as they should receive.”

With military-styled T-shirts made by Wrenn Sports Graphics, Screen Printing and Embroidery, firefighters found another way to show their appreciation for those who served.

“In the past we’ve done that with lymphoma, supporting awareness,” Patrick said. “We wanted to do something special for this so we went and got some shirts that kind of go along with the military theme. We’re going to use these probably on Veterans Day every year to show our support. That was something that the guys decided that they wanted to do.”