TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) - Amid division in America, local business are doing what they can to show support for those who serve to protect.
“I’ve been with the Tupelo Fire Department for 26 years," Jason Cross said. He is a fire marshal with TFD and he was one of many first responders in the surrounding area to enjoy a free meal by Horseshoe Farms and Premiere Fitness.
"It’s a crazy time," Billy Thomas, owner of Horseshoe Farms, said. "You know, everything from the pandemic... Politics are at a high right now and tensions are high.”
That is why Thomas and Chris Beckish, co-owner along with his wife of Premiere Fitness, joined forces to give back.
“It’s a tough, tough job for somebody. It takes a special person to do it," Beckish said.
First responders and law enforcement officers said this kind of outreach means more to them, especially with what is happening in America today.
“For our brothers in law enforcement, my heart aches for them,"Cross said. "For the ones that are doing a good job... That is the vast majority.”
Tupelo police officers said it is that kind of support and events like Monday's that encourage them to do better.
“It makes me want to work harder to try to prevent stuff like that from happening here,” Patrol Officer Wes Kloac said.
“It just shows how close knit we are. We all have to work off one,” Patrol Officer Blake Burress said.
From police officers and deputies, to firefighters and EMT's, first responders indulged in a big meal of steaks, chicken, shrimp and more.
“This little random act of kindness...you never know how it could change someone’s day," Beckish said. "You never know if one of these guys was having a bad day or a bad night.”
“You know, those guys work hard every day and support us, and they’re there when we need them,” Thomas said.
“Whether it’s a firefighter or a police officer or an ambulance worker that is behind that badge or behind that uniform, there’s a human being there and they do have the feelings of a human being,” Cross said.