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WWII veteran celebrates Thanksgiving for the first time in two years with family

For just about everyone, Thanksgiving is the ultimate time to express gratitude.

For the first time in two years, Miguel Sotelo's family is having a big Thanksgiving.

“I would definitely say turkey, you have to have a turkey, not a chicken”, said Miguel Sotelo when asked about his favorite meal during Thanksgiving Day. 

His daughter Mary Fraijo says it’s her dad’s favorite holiday. 

“We weren’t able to gather last year due to restrictions on COVID-19 and sicknesses, we weren’t able to”, Fraijo

This year everyone is wearing their Sunday best. For 96-year-old Miguel Sotelo, his ensemble isn’t complete without his army cap.  Miguel is also a world war II veteran. 

“We have had a loss in our family, so today is special because today, 2021,  we have my father living with us, that’s the greatest blessing that you could ask for”, said Fraijo. 

Unlike last’s thanksgiving day, this time Miguel is surrounded by his daughter, some grandchildren, and several of his great-great children. 

In Spanish he said, Thanksgiving Day is a very important, sacred day since he is reminded he is not alone. 

The family enjoyed the traditional fixings like turkey, ham, mashed potatoes, and pie for dessert. 

His great-granddaughter Rosalie Silva says Thanksgiving without family isn’t the same. 

“You know just being together is important and cherishing those times because we never know what's ahead, but we have to live with what's with us now”, Silva said. 

Their warm gathering reflects how many families across the Coachella Valley are once again feeling the joy of their beloved families. 

“I’m blessed that he's living and not a lot of people get that '', said one of his great-great-granddaughters.

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Marco Revuelta

Marco Revuelta es un reportero para Telemundo 15. Lo puedes mirar de Lunes a Viernes a las 6 y 11 de la noche. Conoce mas a Marco aquí.

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