More than 400 students at Training Support Center (TSC), Great Lakes, were invited by more than 150 local hosts to their homes and the McHenry VFW Post 4600 to enjoy a Thanksgiving meal as part of the annual Adopt A Sailor program Nov. 28.
The program has been an ongoing tradition at Great Lakes since World War I. The program allows families within a 50-mile radius to adopt a few Sailors.
“The Adopt A Sailor program was an opportunity for the community to reach out to our junior Sailors and provide a home environment while they are away from loved ones,” said TSC Great Lakes Commanding Officer Capt. David Dwyer. “The program gave the host family an opportunity to get to know the Sailors on a personal level, and learn more about what our Sailors do. Many of our Sailors have not earned leave or have the time to go home for Thanksgiving. Additionally, many are away from their families for the first time, and it can be a very difficult time for them. Lastly, I want to thank the families who opened-up their homes to provide our Sailors a memorable Thanksgiving.”
Host families plan an entire day’s worth of activities for the students as well as a home-cooked holiday meal to which the students greatly anticipated.
“We have participated in the Thanksgiving Adopt A Sailor program for seven years,” said Kevin Neff, from Northbrook, Ill. “It is always a great time. I cooked them a big breakfast and offered to take them shopping. One went and bought drawing paper and $200 worth of toys to donate to charity for Christmas. We then watched the Bears game, they napped and then we went to one of my relative’s home for dinner. We ate played games and face timed one of the Sailor’s mother, It was sweet. On the way back to the base I stopped and got them a sack of sliders as one of them had never had White Castle. I definitely plan on participating again next year and recommend other families to do the same.”
After spending the entire day with a host family, Seaman Apprentice Max Harrison was grateful for the opportunity to spend the holiday with a family.
“I really appreciate to have had the chance to participate in the Thanksgiving Adopt A Sailor program,” Harrison said. “They treated us like we were part of the family. We had a great meal, lots of conversation and we spent the day playing board games and relaxing to the football game on television. It was really nice; it is hard being away from the family during the holidays. I thank all the families who have participated in the program.”
|Date Posted:||12.03.2019 15:46|
|Location:||GREAT LAKES, IL, US|
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TSC Sailors Celebrate Thanksgiving with Local Host Families
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