EL PASO, Texas -- With Thanksgiving hours away turkey found its way onto some plates a little early. Wednesday more than 150 soldiers stationed in El Paso were given a piece of home with a freshly-cooked Thanksgiving meal.
Pistoleros restaurant in San Elizario hosted the Thanksgiving event. The owner says her family was inspired to adopt a soldier but decided to go the extra mile.
"We thought, well we can host not just one, but many soldiers," said Isela Reyes owner of Pistolero's.
"My favorite was mashed potatoes with the gravy," said Carroll Bunyard a soldier, "The mashed potatoes reminded me of my moms".
Reyes made those mashed potatoes. Her team started cooking at 8:00 Wednesday morning.
"It was crazy we smoked about 13, I believe 13 turkeys, and we had a lot of volunteers today. From serving to cooking, to I mean everything and we just threw down in the kitchen," said Reyes
"Aww great food. It was food basically from back home I love it," said Bunyard.
A Thanksgiving meal was given to the soldiers complete with a side of entertainment. DJ's played and karaoke enthusiasts performed.
"Some entertainment for them. Something different while they're having lunch," said Reyes.
Reyes noted the importance of celebrating Thanksgiving with the soldiers.
"Not a lot of them get to go home for Thanksgiving," said Reyes "It's important for us to share that day with them," said Reyes.
"It feels good cause usually for Thanksgiving most of us don't go home or anything like that, so just to have the experience of a home-cooked meal is nice," said Bunyard.
Reyes says it means a lot to her knowing she's bringing peace to the soldier's families
"It feels good. You can see their smiles it's heart-warming. They're very appreciative. They take leftovers and send pictures to their parents. It's great, it's a great feeling," said Reyes.
The soldiers agree.
"We go to a cafeteria every day," said Bunyard, "They like that other people care about us whenever we're away."
"We don't do it for exposure. We feel great knowing we have people that care," said Reyes.
"We're grateful for Pistoleros having Ft Bliss soldiers here. Its been a great experience, great food, great beer, everything," said Bunyard.