H-E-B and the Fort Hood Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation celebrated Military Spouse Appreciation Day at Club Hood Friday morning.

More than 1,200 spouses registered for the event.

“We are just so thankful that we are serving all of them today and it’s honoring that they are giving us their time,” said Leslie Sweet, director of public affairs for H-E-B.

President Ronald Reagan introduced Military Spouse Appreciation Day in 1984 to honor spouses of troops for their sacrifices and contributions to the U.S. military.

“Military spouses give and sacrifice so much; this is an opportunity for us to give back to them,” said Sarah Fox, beauty manager from H-E-B Austin.

Participating spouses were able to enjoy a day full of relaxation, fun and free goodies.

“It’s really great,” said military spouse Heather Graham. “They are giving out hair and nail products, make-up, some natural and organic products. I even got a flat iron and nail polishes.”

H-E-B beauty advisors also treated participating spouses to complimentary make-overs, eyelash-applications and manicures.

“In my 13 years as a military spouse, I have never been to an appreciation event and I think it was done very well,” said Karla Sweeney. “It’s nice to see everyone’s appreciation towards the spouses.”

Tina Merker, a military spouse of 19 years, was amazed by the size of the event.

“I love it,” she said. “It gives us a day to relax and makes us feel like we are just as important.”

The H-E-B barbecue restaurant provided brunch and a dessert buffet for attending spouses.

“So many partners have worked really hard with us to make this possible,” Sweet said. “We have around 300 volunteers today.”

But the annual Military Spouse Appreciation Day wasn’t the only reason to celebrate.

“We are also celebrating the 5th anniversary of HEB’s Operation Appreciation Campaign, where we thank our military and their families for their service,” Sweet said.

H-E-B started the Operation Appreciation Campaign in 2013 to honor and employ veterans and service members.

Military families can look forward to future events.

“We will hopefully come back and do this again,” said Sweet. “We are constantly looking to find ways to serve and give back even more.”

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