Thanksgiving: For Some, Just Another Work Day

While many spend a quiet day enjoying family, football and turkey, some of us still have to work.

Sineth Pak, Cambodian immigrant and naturalized citizen, working the holiday at her donut shop and thankful for being here.

RENO, NV - I suppose it's something some of us should have thought of back when we were deciding what to do with our lives.

We didn't, of course, and so we find ourselves spending holidays at the job. And that job doesn't get any easier on holidays. In some ways it's harder.

Most of the people who make news are happily home with their families, inactive and unavailable, as they should be, but there's still a newscast to be filled.

We have company, of course. Take firefighters..

"Our jobs are 24/7," says Capt. Dennis Jacobsen of the Reno Fire Department."and we all understand that. Its part of what we signed up for."

Yesterday his crew from Station 6 was fighting that fire above Lockwood. Today's been quiet. A couple of medical calls, a report of smoke from a freeway drain and on the way back to the station, a quick side trip to a Thanksgiving dinner stove fire.

Later if they're lucky, dinner and some football while waiting for the next call.

While first responders stand watch regardless of the calendar, others keep our economy moving.

Back home in Las Vegas, trucker Carl Turco's family is sitting down to a traditional dinner. Carl hasn't been home for 30 days. Thanksgiving catches him taking a break at Sierra Sid's Truck Stop in Sparks, midway through a run from Lathrop, California to Salt Lake.

"Once in awhile I'll get in a Thanksgiving," he says. "Pretty nice."
Nice indeed. This year it's a quesadilla at Sierra Sid's

:It's going to be a truck stop Thanksgiving."

Sineth Pak fled the killing fields of her native Cambodia in 1982.

Today she and her husband own the Jelly Donut shop on East McCarran. They opened today because her donuts and apple fritters are a part of her customers' routine. Besides, she says, the tough economy demands it of small businesses.

That doesn't mean these naturalized citizens will miss this most American of holidays.
Closing up shop early, they'll head home for a Thanksgiving dinner.

With turkey?

"A small turkey," she laughs.

Of course these days those of us with jobs should be thankful for those jobs. The list doesn't end there.

"I'm happy to be in good health," says Turco. "God's been good to me, I guess."

Dennis Jacobsen is thankful for the family waiting at home where they'll celebrate the holiday tomorrow. "And I'm very thankful to have a great group of people to work with," he adds.

And Pak?

"I'm thankful for everything," she says. "Including my freedom. I'm happy to be here."

I think that covers it. From all of us working this holiday, Happy Thanksgiving.


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