CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — You see many of them on the street corners holding cardboard signs asking for help, asking for food: the homeless.
Many of them are also our veterans.
At any given time, there are 75-100 homeless veterans in the Corpus Christi area, and 62-year-old Navy veteran Glenn Teegarden is one of them.
"I'm presently homeless, but staying in the Salvation Army shelter," he said. "You get to the point where you don't have a choice."
This Saturday, local homeless veterans will at least get a chance at a free barbecue meal, compliments of local volunteers and businesses around the area.
L&F Distributors' Eddie Criner helped organize "Feeding Our Heroes."
"We're going to have tables set up a barbecue pit set up, and we're going to be feeding 'em throughout the day," Criner said.
The event starts at 10 a.m. with a ceremony honoring POWs and the military's MIA at 311 N. Staples St. Free meals then will be provided from 11 a.m. - 2pm.
Criner is hoping this year's event will do much more than just feed veterans: He believes it will also educate the community as to the true needs of those who once defended us.
"Know that they're not just a guy standing on a corner asking for change," he said. "They're an actual veteran reaching out for help in some form or another."
Teegarden was dealt a tough hand after health problems resulted in him being on the streets. Severe diabetes complications resulted in him having permanent nerve damage, and COVID-19 also set him back.
However, he said that even though he may be down -- he knows he's not out.
He has a woodworking job at Goodwill Industries, and his children make sure that he has food to eat.
"It's humbling, but life's like a deck of cards," he said. "You've gotta play the hand that's dealt to you."
Yet, Teegarden feels fortunate. He knows other homeless veterans who struggle to find a decent meal, or just about anything to keep them fed.