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Des Moines metro remembers those who've served, sacrificed for our country | Veterans Day 2021

From free breakfast to ghostwriters preserving the stories of veterans, here's how the metro took time to show their appreciation to veterans this year.

DES MOINES, Iowa — Every year on Nov. 11, Americans obsere Veterans Day by honoring those who have served and sacrificed their lives for our freedoms. 

In the Des Moines metro, many businesses and organizations held events to give recognition to those brave people. 

Hy-Vee gives back through breakfast, customer donations

Hy-Vee stores hosted free breakfast for veterans and active-duty military members. City and state lawmakers volunteered their time and visited with them at one store Thursday morning. 

Local 5 spoke with an Airforce veteran who said he loves Veterans Day. 

"I was in the Air Force for 23 years, and so I've been out for a little bit more than that," said Robert Henderson. "It's a good time to get together with buddies and comrades that have a little sense of what you've gone through in life." 

The Midwest grocer is also giving back to veterans through its "Hy-Vee Homefront Round-Up" program, where shoppers can donate money at checkout. 

Hy-Vee is matching those donations up to $100,000. From now until Sunday, shopper donations will be going to groups like "Hope For The Warriors" and "Operation First Response." 

RELATED: Iowa's longest-serving soldier retires from Army National Guard

Your Pictures | Honoring veterans on Veterans Day 2021

Local 5 asked for your pictures of family and friends who have served in the military to honor in our newscasts and online. Those pictures can be viewed in the gallery below.

Don't forget to text us at 515-457-1026 with your pictures. We also answer viewer questions about anything from the local forecast to COVID-19 vaccines.

Prairie Meadows showcases USS Iowa submarine

Veterans, as well as the general public, had the opportunity to see the USS Iowa Submarine at the Prairie Meadows Casino, Racetrack and Hotel Thursday. 

Another cool experience happened when jets flew over the area for Veterans Day. 

Local 5 spoke with Gary Palmer, president of the casino, about why he thinks events like these are so important. 

"I do appreciate it. And I appreciate the sacrifice that our men and women have done for 245 years to keep America strong and the best nation and the world," Palmer said. " And I think we should celebrate and thank them for what they've done."

RELATED: Biden salutes troops as 'spine of America' on Veterans Day

Ghostwriters preserving veteran stories

One big part of Veterans Day is remembering the stories told by those who have served our country. However, many of these stories are lost.

Story Terrace is a service that pairs veterans with ghostwriters in an attempt to capture those stories in print forever.

"We, for example, worked with a veteran who was in the Navy and his ship was bound for Pearl Harbor and the ship was delayed because of the weather, and as a result, he arrived just a week after the Japanese had attacked when he would have been there much earlier and had been attacked at that point," said Rutger
Bruining, founder and CEO of Story Terrace. "He describes in really great detail, and this is someone who is 93 years old, what happened the day that he arrived there."

Services at Story Terrace start at nearly $2,000. A book of experiences can be ready in three to nine months. 

Watch | Puppy Jake Foundation talks supporting the military with service dogs

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