EVERETT — U.S. Marine Taylor Pesce emerged smiling and refreshed from the back of Massage Envy at Everett Mall.
His full-body massage felt especially good because it was a Veterans Day gift.
The center’s owners, Mark and Edna Christianson, offered free massages to Snohomish County’s veterans and active military members.
“It was amazing. I haven’t had one in quite a few years,” said Pesce, 27, of Lake Stevens.
He was one of 132 retired and active service members who signed up for a free massage.
Donations for the national nonprofit Wounded Warrior Project also were accepted that day.
The Christiansons wanted to thank veterans for their service. Their massage clinic is a franchise of a nationwide company. Some other Massage Envy locations throughout Puget Sound also offered free massages to veterans.
“There’s such a big military community here. It’s a great way to support them,” Edna Christianson said.
The Snohomish couple brought their sons, Trevor, 12, and Bryce, 9, to greet veterans and offer them water and tea.
Naval Reserve veteran Ashley Klinebriel, 28, of Lake Stevens, relaxed in a dim room before her massage session with therapist April Anderson.
Klinebriel works at the Everett Vet Center — she knows how much the veterans need to feel appreciated by the community. She said it’s important to bring them into the spotlight in a positive way.
Klinebriel is working toward a bachelor’s degree in human services with a minor in art.
Brittney Bridges, who described herself as a lover of pampering, brought her husband, Casey Bridges, and his friend, Nathan Phillips, for their first massages ever.
The men serve aboard the USS Abraham Lincoln.
U.S. Army veteran Freda Terry, of Arlington, came with her daughter, son and son-in-law.
“This is very nice. I could really use it,” she said.
Terry’s granddaughter, Tamira Wade, 16, was there, too. She is preparing to enlist in the Navy to continue the family’s military legacy.
Katya Yefimova: 425-339-3452; firstname.lastname@example.org.