Oceanside CA— At 10:00am Thanksgiving morning, 48 Marines from Camp Pendleton arrived by bus at the Oceanside Yacht Club for a day of fun in the sun followed by a Thanksgiving Day feast. The Marines were treated to breakfast, coffee and donuts before being split into groups for several hours on the open water.
Fifteen different boat owners volunteered their sail and motor boats along with their time to take the Marines, many for the first time in their life going out on the open water. “We have done this for almost fifteen years now,” said Oceanside Yacht Club vice-Commodore, Steve Ford. “These Marines are in a part of their training where they don’t get to have leave but every Thanksgiving, the Commander will let them come here.”
“We are really thankful for this,” said Sgt. Anthony Marquez, from Virginia Beach and the leader of the group that day. “For many of these guys, its the first time they have been away from home, family and friends during the holidays. They get a little bit homesick and this lets them spend time with friends they made in boot camp. I remember being homesick when I was at the same stage of training these guys are in now. We really appreciate when people do these kinds of things for us. It means a lot.”
“I really like this,” said Jan Brioch, from Florida. “We don’t get to spend time with our families but this gives us a chance to spend time with our brothers and sisters. Have fun, have dinner together like family, which we are.”
“I think it’s nice. Some of us in the military get to go home for the holidays, others don’t. My brother is deployed and is out in the middle of the ocean right now and he doesn’t get to go home. Things like this show us that people appreciate and care about what we are doing,” said Noah Gottch from Omaha Nebraska.
After several hours on the water, the Marines were treated to a home-style Thanksgiving dinner with all the fixings. Stone Brewing Co. donated five frozen turkeys for the event.
“Events like this are nice but it isn’t home. The main thing is, at least they’re not alone for the holiday,” said Oceanside Yacht Club Commodore, Adam Johnson.
To learn more about the Oceanside Yacht Club and the events they hold throughout the year such as the annual Parade of Lights, the Charity Regatta and the Yankee Doodle Parade, visit their websiteHere