BURLESON (CBS 11 NEWS) – A North Texas Memorial Day weekend tradition may be at the end of its road.
For nearly four decades, members of the VFW have greeted travelers at a rest stop just south of Burleson on Interstate-35 West.
The military veterans, along with other volunteers, serve coffee and snacks for free to weary travelers over the holiday weekend to help keep drivers awake.
However, this summer the Texas Department of Transportation plans to close the rest stop. A new larger rest stop is being built nearly 50 miles down the interstate near Hillsboro.
The veterans asked travelers this weekend to sign a petition to keep the rest stop open.
Over the years, travelers have gone out of their way to stop at this particular North Texas rest stop on Memorial Day to say “thank you” – and not just for the free coffee.
“We’ve had people traveling that will go past us on the highway and they will turn all the way around and come back to thank our veterans and shake their hand,” said a teary eyed Debbie Lamb, who has volunteered to help the VFW with the program for the past ten years.
Sue Hollywood, who was traveling home to Justin on Sunday, said her family makes a point to stop at the rest stop every year.
“It’s a Memorial Day thing,” she said. “I know that they are always here. I stop here every time.”
“We’ve kind of built of bunch of groupies out here you might say,” said Navy veteran Hal Cleveland.
The Burleson military veteran has made this rest stop his Memorial Day weekend destination ever since he retired from the Navy ten years ago.
Cleveland said he hopes this year is not the last.
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