BLAKELY, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU)— Saturday night, a faith-based community in Lackawanna County gathered to say “thank you” to our veterans in a special way.

Our heroes deserve recognition not just on veterans day but every day. It’s why a worship community came together to throw an end-of-summer soiree centered around gratitude.

Patriotic songs performed by musician Nate Hosie echoed throughout Peckville Assembly of God Church Pavilion in Blakely.

American flags adorned each table where community members and those who fought for our freedom sat enjoying food and fellowship.

“Thank you for our veterans, lord,” said Pastor Terry Drost from Peckville Assembly of God Church.

Prayer is a routine practice for Pastor Terry Drost and many who are part of the ministry, but on this night those prayers were intended for veterans and their families at this inaugural veterans’ appreciation event.

“This is just one of the ways that we just want to say thank you to those that have served to protect and defend our freedoms here in this great country of ours. We just thank god for them. We try to honor them, but I mean I don’t think we can ever say thank you or show our appreciation enough,” said Pastor Drost.

Retired Lackawanna County judge and Vietnam Veteran Tom Munley shared his war stories with the crowd.

“A veteran doesn’t ask for much. But all a veteran really cares about is, when you see them if you say thank you for your service,” Munley told Eyewitness News.

A simple gesture that goes a long way for Vietnam Veteran Vito Gentile of Scranton.

“When we came back from Vietnam we didn’t get the welcome that they’re getting now. We were pushed aside, just forget about that guy over there. And I’m really glad that we’re being honored here today,” Gentile explained.

Peckville Assembly of God church has volunteer-run grief and recovery ministries to help veterans and anybody who needs support.

For more information on their mission, head to their website.