Busloads of Marines from The Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center in Twentynine Palms were dropped off with families all over the Coachella Valley so they could relax, watch dome football, and, have a home cooked Thanksgiving dinner.
“We’ve been doing this a number of years and everyone comes back and says it’s one of the best things they have ever done,” says Mike Byrne a volunteer with the American Friends of our Armed Forces. “We see people with tears in their eyes saying thank you for your service. that’s pretty special,” says Byrne.
American Friends of our Armed Forces or AFAF has been hosting the Adopt-A-Marine program for 8 years.
“It’s actually my first Thanksgiving away from my family,” says Pvt. Steve Kim. “I’m just really grateful that the Marine Corps could find and opportunity for me to find a family to be with,” says Kim.
These Marines get a chance to share their stories with the younger members of the family, who otherwise might not get a chance to meet someone who actively serves.
“If I had this experience when I was younger it would have been great you know just to listen to a Marine talk about his experiences and to get more of an idea of what the Marine Corps is,” says Pvt. Alexander Caropelo.
“My father was a Marine in World War II,” says Janice Johnson while cooking dinner in a home in Bermuda Dunes. “This has just been marvelous having these young boys here and I wish my father was here to see it, but I’ll give them a big Oorah for the Marines,” says Johnson.