A homecoming surprise for Marines returning to the desert after spending the Thanksgiving holiday with their families. Volunteers greeted the group of men Sunday afternoon after they arrived at the Palm Springs International Airport, then revealed they would be giving them a free ride back to the 29 Palms Marine Base.
The transportation was provided by Soldiers Organized Services or SOS, with the help of the Morongo Basin Car Club. Organizers say it was just a way to give back and thank the Marines for their service during the holidays.
“Well, I don’t think that we as whole do enough for our service people, so any little thing that we can do makes us feel good, and I’m sure that they appreciate it,” said Norm Correll, President-elect of the Morongo Basin Car Club.
Organizer and founding director of SOS, Erica Stone says service members have to shell out nearly $200 for transportation to and from the base and the airport.
“To save them $300 round trip after they bought their tickets and so forth, it’s a big deal. So many Marines we find that they can’t financially afford to go home both holidays,” Stone said.
Christopher Domokos was among the Marines who returned Sunday. He was visiting his family in Texas for Thanksgiving.
“I wasn’t really expecting on having the money to do it, that’s why I’m really thankful that these volunteers have actually given their time to help us out,” Domokos said.
Some even got to ride in style in 2 restored classic cars, including Domokos.
“I like these old classic cars, that’s pretty awesome I actually get to ride in one,” Domokos said.
Members with the Morongo Basin Car Club planned on having more vintage cars to transport the Marines back to the base, but had to change plans due to high winds in the high desert. Instead members used their own cars for the drive.
Stone says they average 5 to 6 drivers a day, but had more than 50 drivers helping drive the marines back to base, due to the holiday.
“So, we’re really encouraging individuals to get involved to help out. Of course, if you can’t drive you can help sponsor the gas for people who can drive,” Stone said.
For more on how to help sponsor or volunteer click on link http://www.sosride.org/
“I didn’t think we’d have all these cars driving us to where we need to go. It’s pretty awesome,” said Domokos.