Thursday, November 26, 2015

Families Host Camp Pendleton Marines Who Miss 'Hometown Chow' for Thanksgiving

So special.

At the O.C. Register:

They all have unique backgrounds, hailing from different states and serving in different fields.

But there is one thing that binds the men and women of the U.S. Marine Corps.

“They always love a good home-cooked meal,” said Cassie Craft, wife of Col. Joseph Craft, commanding officer of the Camp Pendleton’s Headquarters and Support Battalion. “The Marines always say, we miss the homemade chow.”

On Thursday evening, more than 40 Marines from the battalion will be bused to the Bear Creek community in Murrieta, where they’ll be matched up with families who will be providing a Thanksgiving dinner with all the fixings.

Craft said 42 Marines had signed up for the trip as of Wednesday and more could be jumping on the 55-seat passenger coach, which was paid for by the Bear Creek Master Association.

The community, which counts a large number of retired military members as residents, did something similar last year, welcoming in 50 Marines from the base at the suggestion of Mary and Eddie Doidge.

The Doidges moved to the community from Corona about a year-and-a-half ago. After an October 2014 visit to the Vietnam Wall exhibit in Temecula, which found them reading names for two hours, they were inspired to do something more for the nation’s servicemen.

Mary Doidge is credited with coming up with the idea and she sent out a call for people to host.

Her neighbors -- a patriotic bunch that flies U.S. flags from the community’s light poles -- quickly backed the idea. It has grown this year to include 20 host families, each taking in two or four Marines.

Marilyn Spooner and her husband Roland Behny, a retired Marine, are hosting again this year and helping coordinate the community’s welcome party, which includes snack bags donated by Barons Market...