Food truck owner feeds VA hospital staff that helped him beat COVID-19
BILOXI, Miss. (WLOX) - The Gulf Coast Veterans Health Care System wanted to celebrate Veterans Week rather than just Veterans Day. Staff organized a kick-off festival on the front lawn of the Biloxi facility, welcoming any staff, guests and veterans.
Along with informational booths, COVID-19 vaccines, and giveaways, the crowd also got to chow down at a few food trucks, including Tru Wings. Before the crew could even start serving some of their chicken wings, fries, waffles, tacos, and deep-fried corn, a long line of hungry customers waited in front of the window.
“My wing is about as big as your hand, so you don’t have to worry about being cheated on that,” owner True Pasley said.
The hype around his food is nothing new for the U.S. Air Force veteran. His truck has developed a large following since it started hitting the road four years ago.
“It just took off straight to the moon,” Pasley said. “A food truck boom on the coast started then.”
He was was looking forward to the kick-off festival and serving his chicken with a smile, after spending part of the summer fighting for his life with COVID-19.
“I was one of the folks that it hit hard,” He said.
He spent more than 20 days in the ICU at the VA in Biloxi.
“I had a choice to go anywhere I wanted to as far as to get care, but I knew I wanted to come here,” he said.
His stay was long but he always had a positive spirit, especially around those who took care of him.
“He would crack jokes with us and everything,” ICU registered nurse Sheri Cutter remembered.
Pasley grew so close to the staff, their relationships turned into friendships.
“He talked to us about different things. We’d give him advice , he’d give us advice,” Cutter said. “Mr. Pasley was great.”
So once the self-professed Wing King finally got out of the hospital, he knew he wanted to serve those who served him.
“I knew one day I was going to come back here and be able to show them what I can do with these wings,” Pasley said.
Pasley’s battle with COVID-19 might have been intense but those who took care of him say the time, treatments and talks were worth it, in order to help someone who served their country.
“Support our veterans in any way you can, because if it wasn’t for them we wouldn’t be here,” Cutter said.
And with the Wing King back in his truck once again, medical staff say they are happy to see him serving the people who nursed him back to health.
“When we are discharging a patient, usually I say come back and see me, but not as a patient,” Cutter said.
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