I have said it before but one of the greatest gifts anyone can receive is an opportunity to thank a soldier for serving and protecting our country and Rotary and the Austin Hotel Lodging Association gets to do it every month with a family from Ft. Hood. SSG Ryan Bentley, his wife Victoria and sons Lincoln (2) and Lyle (8 mos.)  were hosted last weekend at the Residence Inn Hotel Downtown by General Manager Andy Zinni. 
The Rotary Club of Austin and Killeen provide the program called Operation Vacation. Ft. Hood and arranged a rent car, free meals, entertainment packages, toys and goodies to let the family know how much Austin appreciates the sacrifices these families make for all of us daily. County Line hosted their Saturday nite dinner with all the trimmings and we provide gift bags for the family with toys, snacks and entertainment passes for a fun weekend of quality family time. Without great partners like these and the Austin Hotel Lodging Association, Restaurant Association and Rotary this kind of event just wouldn't happen. When  Sgt. Bentley  was asked if his family had a good time he said "Thank you! We had a blast. The food was amazing and everyone took such good care of us. Thanks again for all you did."  Thank to our generous sponsors for making America a better place.  We are so lucky to have such dedicated men and women protecting us everyday and everyone who participates in this program love to show these families the love and respect  they deserve and we are all changed by the experience.  So next time you see a soldier be sure and thank them for their service  They deserve it! 
Mary Reynolds Rotary  and AHLA Chair of Operation Vacation