There are few words or actions praiseworthy enough to thank veterans of the United States armed forces for their service and sacrifice to defend this country. 

One long-term care operator is doing its best to show its appreciation by providing veterans across its facilities with a sweet treat ahead of the holiday season. 

New Jersey-based long-term care operator CareRite Centers honored Veterans Day Wednesday by holding its annual Pie Day Celebration. The operator distributed nearly 2,000 pieces to veterans in its facilities in New York, New Jersey, Florida and Tennessee. 

Pie Day celebration originated when CareRite was first founded in 2011 as a way to honor veterans. The pies, which are apple and pumpkin, are made by CareRite employees and delivered to local and resident veterans.

CareRite Centers’ Chateau at Brooklyn Rehabilitation and Nursing Center participates in the operator’s annual Pie Day celebration for veterans. From left to right: Diane Ryabo, director of therapeutic recreation, resident veteran Jack Sokolofsky, and Liz Claudio, assistant director of therapeutic recreation.

The celebrations looked a little different this year due to the ongoing public health crisis, the operator noted. Organizers incorporated drive-thru pie pickups in order to respect social distancing mandates. They also held special services and commemorations for veterans across the country. 

The celebration at its St. James Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center, a 230-bed facility in St. James, NY, featured a special performance for residents who are veterans by a local high school band. 

“Pie Day is one of our most anticipated celebrations of the year,” St. James’ Administrator Cristen Wei said.“Veterans Day is so special in our community. We have a deep appreciation for our residents who are veterans, and the veterans in our local community. Veterans Day is so important because it allows our community the opportunity to celebrate our Veterans for their selfless sacrifice, gifting them with pies for the upcoming holidays.” 

CareRite also celebrated the holiday by donating winter clothing and accessories to veterans and their families in need in preparation of the winter months. 

Ashley Romano, CareRite’s chief experience officer, added that the operator is “thankful to have team members and patients who have given selflessly and are honored to serve them in return.” 

“We are proud to provide care to our incredible veterans of yesterday and today,” added

Regina Harrington, director of nursing at St. James. 

Other community groups across the country also have utilized drive-thru celebrations in order to honor veterans at nursing homes. They’re all getting it in gear for those who have served their country.

An Ohio veterans organization held a drive-by salute at 10 nursing homes around Zanesville, OH, after having the regular veterans parade and free breakfast events canceled.

Community members in Rhode Island dropped off more than 200 care packages to residents at the Rhode Island Veterans Home in Bristol, RI. The care packages included snacks, handmade paracord bracelets and letters of appreciation.