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Free Turkeys Make Thanksgiving for Vets

Molly Tarleton of Hannaford Supermarkets hands a veteran a free turkey.

With turkeys quickly flying off grocery store shelves, one local law firm helped make Capital Region veterans and service members’ holiday shopping a little easier.

For the fourth year in a row, Tully Rinckey PLLC spent the morning of Tuesday, Nov. 20, handing out free turkeys for their “Turkeys for Veterans” program at 441 New Karner Road in Albany. Although the law firm usually pays for the turkeys, this year Hannaford Supermarkets decided to team up with the gift givers and donate 120 15-pound turkeys.

Veterans and service members merely needed to flash their military IDs, and then were handed a Hannaford shopping bag containing a turkey. The first 30 veterans that showed up also received a $15 Hannaford gift

A veteran smiles as he receives a free turkey from Tully Rinckey and Hannaford Supermarkets.

About 60 turkeys were handed out within the first 20 minutes of the event.

“No veteran will be turned away. If we run out, we’ll go out and buy more,” said Greg T. Rinckey, managing partner of Tully Rinckey.

Both Rinckey and founding partner Mathew Tully are veterans, and Rinckey said this was a good way to help “give back to veterans we’ve served with in the past,” as well as the present.

“Everyone thinks of them on Veterans Day, but veterans should always be remembered. Mat and I have a special place in our hearts for them,” Rinckey said.

Tully was not at the event as he is taking a military leave of absence form the law firm. He was awarded the Purple Heart earlier this year after surviving a suicide bomber attack while serving in Afghanistan in August.

Veterans John and Kelly Bourdeau just moved to the area from Orlando, Fla., and heard about the free turkeys through a family member.

“This is a great thing, (especially) during the holiday season,” John Bourdeau said. “We certainly don’t expect folks to do this type of thing.”

Teaming up with Tully Rinckey this year was a no brainer for Hannaford and something Hannaford Community Relations Specialist Molly Tarleton said the company “didn’t think twice about.”

“I think we need to be thankful for our men and women serving our country year-round. But certainly in November, they are brought to the forefront. A turkey represents a small token of home,” Tarleton said. “We’re clearly very grateful for anyone who chooses to serve our country.”

Bob Kraft, of Colonie, said he wasn’t aware of the giveaway before this year, but was excited about the generosity.

“This is really nice that these people do this. I got drafted on 5 January ’69, I was in Vietnam on 18 June ’68 and I came home on 11 June ’69. Some dates you don’t forget,” Kraft, 64, said.

The smiling veteran said he would be handing the turkey over to his family to cook for Thanksgiving.

“I just eat it. Somebody else can cook it,” he said.


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