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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A heavy police presence Wednesday at Marlins Park was there not to keep the peace but instead serve a Thanksgiving lunch to over 200 veterans.

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Charles Press is the Chief of Police for the Village of Key Biscayne, he started this 5 years ago and it has since grown year after year. “I get goosebumps just talking about it and the other chiefs feel the same way,” he says about the event. “It’s something special the bond between what we do and what veterans do.”

The police chiefs were from over 20 departments primarily in Miami-Dade County with a few surrounding areas represented as well.

They all come together with the idea of serving those who have served. Christian Martinez served in the United States Marine Core and did two tours in Afghanistan. Along with enjoying the lunch, he comes to be around other veterans as well.

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“I love spending time with veterans,” he said. “It makes me feel like I am in the service again.”

Darrell Ferguson was in the Army and when asked about spending time with those who have also served he said, “Most of these people here today I have seen before or know who they are. We are all a family here.”

That family feel was evident throughout the event between those serving and those who have also served. “We want to make sure that on Thanksgiving they know they are cared for and loved,” says Press.

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“You don’t need any other reason than that.”

Dave Warren