Some folks in central Pennsylvania celebrated Veterans Day a few days early at a drive-thru event.

SELINSGROVE, Pa. — The parking lot outside the Susquehanna Valley Mall near Selinsgrove was a busy place on Monday, but these people were not shopping. They are all vets celebrating Veterans Day a few days early.

“We’re all thankful that God blessed us, and we all came back safe,” John Tillett said.

Typically, State Rep. Lynda Schlegal-Culver’s office holds a Veterans Day breakfast, but this year because of the pandemic, Culver and other elected officials put together this drive-thru event.

“A lot of them are older ladies and gentlemen, and we wanted to keep it safe but not let the year and the day pass without letting them know we were thinking about them,” Terri Campbell said.

Around 30 businesses and nonprofits lined up to give thanks to the veterans. Some handed out gift cards and goodie bags.

“Everybody came together and put this together, and it’s pretty nice,” Fred Keeley said.

More than 200 veterans showed up to the event, including John Tillett, Bill Shrawder, and Fred Keeley, all from Northumberland County.

“The three of us travel together,” Keeley said.

The three friends represent the Army, Navy, and Marines.

“I think it’s great. They’re doing a lot for the veterans,” Bill Shrawder said.

Some veterans tell Newswatch 16 they waited in line for more than two hours, but it was worth the wait.

“It’s very nice, especially with the line of people appreciating us,” Tillett said.

Veterans Day is this Wednesday, November 11.

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