For many veterans and their families, the holidays are a difficult season. Some have lost family members while others no longer have relationships for a number of reasons.
A local nonprofit, Texoma Veterans Alliance, has announced the first Operation Never Alone holiday meal.
“I pray this becomes an annual event for veterans in the Texoma area,” TVA co-founder Todd Larkin said.
The event will begin at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, Dec.14, at Heritage Hall in downtown Ardmore.
“We will be feeding more than 250 veteran families,” Larkin said. “This is not just for those in need of a meal — it is also a chance for us to come together an enjoy the camaraderie many of us miss. I’m me all the time, but when I’m around a bunch of other veterans I feel like I’m truly ‘me.’”
Larkin said for many veterans, seasonal depression becomes serious around the holidays, so planning events like Operation Never Alone could make a huge difference for them and their loved ones.
Texoma Air Pros, a family -owned and operated heating and air company based in Ardmore, offered to sponsor the event. Ed Rauner said he met Larkin at a local event and they started talking.
 Rauner said this holiday season marks the two-year anniversary for Texoma Air Pros in Ardmore, which Rauner said is an emotional time for the staff. “Todd already had the event set up, he just needed the financial backing,” Rauner said. “We thought it would be a great way to give back.”
Larkin said Ernie’s Meat Market will help out with the food for the event, which will feature smoked meats and sides.
“We will also have gifts for the kids,” Larkin said.
“There’s no forms or anything like that,” Larkin said. “If you can, let us know you’re coming by checking in on the Facebook page. Or just show up.”
Those interested in attending can follow the event page on Facebook at https://bit.ly/2D7l1Fc. Any questions may be directed to Todd Larkin at (580) 504-6417.