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      Local veterans find a home for the holidays

      Christmas is a time to gather with family and friends, give gifts and share a meal.

      With help from volunteers and donations from local organizations, VFW Post 280 was able to provide a warm holiday meal to dozens of veterans.

      Usually the Columbia VFW caters to combat veterans. But today, all were welcome.

      "This event that we're having here today is basically for people that have no place to go, or veterans that are without family for something like this," said Post 280 Commander Donald Briggs.

      It's a place for veterans to spend the holiday with others who have been through similar times.

      "It's the time of the season for camaraderie," said Post 280 Quartermaster Kim Wischmeyer. "We all have a common bond. Most of us that have been in battle have a common bond of just that."

      "The holidays are hard on us," said Briggs. "And they're hard on our families. Our families suffer a lot for what we do here."

      For some vets, these comrades are the only family they have.

      "We have our own VFW family," said District Commander Joy Smith. "It brings the other veterans in... shows them that they're not alone on the holidays."

      It's the simple gesture of offering a meal and good conversation that can make a veteran's Christmas one to remember.