The marines stationed in Pensacola

My dish for them

Love kabobs…heart-shaped strawberries,
mini marshmallows and blueberries

This post is dedicated to the young Marines that are becoming their absolute best…by personal choice!  Marines that took time out on this blessed day to join us at Pensacola RV Park in a celebration of gratitude.  I will allow the pictures and the remarks from the several Marines (Bright Spots) that I had the privilege to spend a little time with speak for themselves about what today was like for all of us!
     First, though, I would like to say thank you to the owners of this Park-Lane, Wyndell and Jeanine-for their awe-inspiring generosity, loving time, effort and hospitality which made this memorable day possible for so many.

Jeanine welcoming the marines to the park


Drill Sgt talking with the marines

“Rocks” for lunch???  LOL
Fresh oysters…Doug ate most of them!!!

Kudos to all who contributed the most delicious quantity of food I’ve ever seen in one place!  Their offerings were greatly appreciated by all who attended, especially the Marines, many of which were spending their first Thanksgiving away from their families.  WOW-what a special occasion to have been a part of!!!

The sun was shining much of the day, but it was a little chilly and the breeze was a bit strong at times.  I was writing fast with cold shivering hands, so please forgive me if I have left anything out that any of you shared with me.  I’d be happy to add or change any information if you wish…but I’m hoping I get it all correct!!!  Also, I’d like to add here that each one of you that I spent time talking to warmed my heart…your honesty, enthusiasm, dedication and gratitude  for the marines, your being here today and for life itself  delighted me!  I’m honored to have had this time with you and best of luck and many blessings in your future!

                                                              BRIGHT  SPOTS
ZACHARY is from Detroit, MI and has always wanted to be a marine.  His field of interest is aviation mechanics.  Everyday that he wakes up is a reason to be happy for him.
ALAN is from Manassas, VA and his area of specialty is aviation support.  Here they learn ALL the trades in aviation so they can pitch in whenever needed!  It means the world to him that he is able to stay in touch with his family.
JULIE is from MA and is the first in her family to serve in the military.  She chose this path for the adventure, the travel, the challenge, etc.  She has been in the service 9 mos. and is training in the field of aviation electronics because it will serve her well in the civilian world as well.  She wakes up every morning proud to be a marine.

Jeanine and nephews and
 Brook…I think…lol

“The perfect marshmallows”

Cindy helping prepare
Chavis’ 1st s’mores

OK, here he goes….

He did it!  But did he like it?  LOL

THOMAS and JONATHAN are in the same platoon and are very grateful to be here today because last year on Thanksgiving they were in boot camp!!!

SAM has been in the marines for 9 mos. and shared confidently and enthusiastically that it has been the best decision he has ever made.  He is from FL and a year ago found himself with little money working at a Waffle House.  A marine recruiter came into the restaurant one day and the rest is history!  Sam will always remember the look of pride on his parents’ faces when he graduated from boot camp this past summer on Friday, June 13, 2014.  “I’ll never forget that day.”
JORDAN is from Texas, has been in the marines 16 mos. and will be driving across the country soon from Ohio to begin work at his duty station in Mirama, CA.  He recently got engaged and has set the date for June 8, 2015.  Congrats!

Group campfire at dusk

AUSTIN is from WI and it has been 14 mos. since he joined the marines.  His field is aviation electronics and he will be traveling with Jordan on their cross-country adventure!
MICHAEL joined the marines 15 mos. ago and is from FL.  He is extremely excited about haven gotten the exact job that he wanted as a meteorological technician.  He’ll be working on weather forecasting equipment and with 100’s of options, he couldn’t be happier.  Even with a 75% college scholarship available to him, Michael chose the marines.  He is also very grateful that he will be home for Christmas!
HOLDEN, in the marines for 14 mos, is from UT.  He also will be working on weather equipment. He was telling me that it is the rarest job in the entire marine corps with only 40 positions!  He will be working out of SC.  When asked why he joined the marines, Holden shared that he was headed in a direction was destined to be harmful to himself and others and it wasn’t what he wanted for his life. Holden was also born into a privileged family and felt like he wanted to be his own man, do his own thing, work for what he achieved and become more independent.  He is so appreciative that no distance can sever the ties and support of family…his family!

Check back for a few rare pieces of footage to brighten your day!  Videos will be posted soon!! Thanks to all for being such good sports!

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