Camp Lejeune Marines celebrate Thanksgiving away from home

WALLACE, N.C. (WNCT)–Arriving on buses by the hundreds, Marines from Camp Johnson spent this day of thanks with 33 families who are grateful for their service. For many, it is their first Thanksgiving away from home and the chance to enjoy a home cooked meal.

They come from different places like California and Wisconsin, but Thursday they all gathered as one at River Landing Country Club in Wallace.

Jack Carver and his wife, Sue, have hosted marines for the last seven years. “Thanksgiving is a day of thanks,” Carver said. “What we do for the young marines and the sailors here is nothing more than saying thank you for their service.”

On the menu were the traditional favorites: turkey, mashed potatoes and gravy, and pecan pie. But the traditions this year are a little different for the Marines.

“I’m usually home every year eating with my family,” PFC. Kyler Zumwalt said.  “Coming here and not knowing anybody is kind of different, but it’s really welcoming.”

This year, they’re each others family. “We all come from different places and all different ethnicities and religions,” PFC. Alex Garcia said. “At the same time, it’s a brotherhood. Female or male, we are all one big family.”

“I’m feeling really thankful that these people take us in because if it wasn’t for them I’d be back in the barracks,” PFC. Zumwalt said.

In between the food, Marines also hit up the golf course and enjoyed other activities at the country club. And no one went home empty handed.

“I don’t get to spend it with my family this year, but I’m glad the Carvers took me home,” PFC. Dylan Schaefer said.

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