OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. (KFOR) — The Oklahoma City Thunder hosted an early Thanksgiving dinner for more than a dozen military families on Sunday.

The event tipped off the Thunders 16th season of ‘holiday assist’.

Christine Berney, vice president of community and engagement for the Thunder said putting smiles on faces and bringing families together is what the Thunder aims to do especially around the holidays.

“We just want to spread the joy,” said Berney.

That was on full display when they served 15 military families an early Thanksgiving meal.

“They really deserve to be recognized,” said Berney.

Lots of pictures and smiles filled Tinker Elementary School where principal Suzanna Bennett-Asfaw said she has about 123 students with active duty parents.

“We just put names in a hat, and the names were randomly drawn,” said Bennett-Asfaw.

Among those names was Joel Schrock, who’s dad has been serving in the Air Force for for 15 years.

“It feels good to know that someone in your family has actually represented your country,” said Schrock.

However, his father said that honor comes with a price.

“Reintegrating yourself into the everyday life of family life and then basically having one foot out the door again because you’re getting ready to go again,” said Joe Schrock, his dad.

A feeling Thunder player Jalen Williams knows all too well.

Both of Williams’ parents served in the military, he said it’s important to never forget about our veterans.

“Just growing up around this, it’s kinda cool to come back and kinda be reminded where you’re from,” said Williams.