SAN DIEGO (KGTV) — Military families packed the Bob Hope Theater at MCAS Miramar to watch Top Gun: Maverick before it hits theaters.
In the crowd waiting for the film to begin were Greg and Kristy Varella with their little ones. They said watching the screening felt like a full-circle moment for their family.
"I love top gun and he's a pilot so this is the best thing. So, we're psyched for it," said Kristy, while her husband reminisced on Miramar being his first duty station.
It was an event nearly a year and a half in the making, according to the Gary Sinise Foundation. The foundation put on the event with MCAS Miramar to pay it forward, but it was more than just a movie screening.
"This is a nationwide- [and] global wide opportunity, where we bring meals in to thank our nation's defenders and veterans to let them know we appreciate them and lift those spirits up," said Gib Bosworth, VP of Strategic Initiatives & Outreach at the Gary Sinise Foundation.
Doc Jacobs is a Navy veteran and one of the foundation's RISE recipients. He said Saturday night's event did just that. Jacobs said being able to connect with other veterans is what keeps him going. He was serving our country in Iraq where he was injured when an IED exploded.
"I can look over and see a Marine there and a Marine over there. It's nice that I can walk or roll up to them and go talk to them. Even the other recipients who are here - the RISE recipients. One of them, he was in Afghanistan years after I was in Iraq with some of the guys he was in Afghanistan with so even six [to] seven years later. We still have that kind of bond," said Jacobs.
There will be plenty of opportunities for the public to enjoy MCAS Miramar this summer.