Making a difference one sandwich at a time

Veterans groups team up with local sandwich shops

BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - Several sandwich shops around Bakersfield are looking to make a difference in the lives of local veterans and you can be a part of it. March is the month of giving at Jersey Mike's and they teamed up with to two local veterans groups, Honor Flight Kern County and the Wounded Heroes Fund, to help them raise money..

George Garcia is an Army medic veteran of the Vietnam War. He told 23ABC he went on Honor Flight last fall and seeing the Vietnam War Memorial gave he a lot of much needed closure.

"We got orders for Vietnam. There were 30 of us medics and maybe 15 came back," said Garcia.

Garcia did two tours in Vietnam. His first assignment was bringing back injured soldiers from the field to the hospital. His second was at the morgue where he processed body bags to send them home.

Garcia said, "I'm 68 years old and for a long time I couldn't even talk about it. But, I've been going to the VA PTSD group and it's helped me."

He says going to the wall and laying a wreath at the tomb of the unknown soldier was a surreal experience for him to honor the heroes who didn't come home.

"To me personally, it brought closure. When we got to the wall I got to see some of my really good buddies that didn't make it back," said Garcia.

Wednesday Jersey Mike's said they were donating 100% of their sale to Honor Flight Kern County and the Wounded Heroes Fund.  The honor flight portion will help raise money so other veterans have a chance to experience what Garcia did.

Honor Flight, board member, Jason Mundorf said, "We fly veterans back at no cost to them so the only money we're able to, so the way we're able to do that is strictly through donations."

Garcia said every veteran needs the same closure he's got. 

"I feel like everyone needs to do that, that that's been traumatized by war," said Garcia.

If you'd like to donate to the honor flight you can do so at any of the five Jersey Mike's here in Bakersfield.

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