CHICAGO (CBS) —  The Chicago Police Department and the Black McDonald’s Operators Association join forces to honor veterans.

It’s the 20th annual “Food for the Body and Spirit” turkey and sides giveaway. Free birds and all the trimmings are being handed out at the McDonalds at 69th and Lafayette.

READ MORE: Man Shot And Killed In Dispute Outside West Chatham Home

Veterans are given the VIP treatment with a special fast service line. The meals are available on a first come-first serve basis.

A McDonald’s operator explained why it’s so important to thank veterans.

READ MORE: City Was Warned About Thousands of Corroding Light Poles But Failed to Fix Many, CBS 2 Investigation Finds

“They are such a critical part of who we are as Americans. Because of our veterans, we all have our independence and the ability to be free in America,” said Derrick Lott of the Black McDonald’s Operators Association.

There will be more turkey and sides giveaways this week at other McDonald’s restaurants in the city.

Also From CBS Chicago:

MORE NEWS: Chicago Weather: Rain Arrives Sunday