Giving Thanks with Military Men and Women
Thanksgiving is a time of a family and friends for most. But for many in the United States Coast Guard (USCG) and United States Marine Corps (USMC), Thanksgiving can be a time spent away from the comforts of home. For Amway Independent Business Owner Pat Yovich, this had to change.
Yovich is a member of the Navy League, Savannah Council. The organization works to support Sea Services and their families in the Savannah, Georgia region. This past fall, the council decided they would bring a special Thanksgiving dinner to the men and women of the USCG and USMC serving over the holidays.
The team of volunteers took over the Gunny Shack of the USCG Air Station at Hunter Army Airfield. In three weeks time, the council organized, planned and decorated for the occasion. Local businesses donated turkeys and other food.
On Thanksgiving Day, more than 80 servicemen, their families, and volunteers were served. Dinner was also delivered to the USMC Safety Unit and nearby USCG Station Tybee Island crew. In total, more than 100 other Sea Services men and women enjoyed a Thanksgiving dinner thanks to the generosity of the Savannah Council and community.
For many in the USMC and USCG, the timing could not have been better. “Most have heard about the Navy League, but had no idea of what all we do. This first Thanksgiving dinner came at a time of low morale, as they were just told as of that Monday before Thanksgiving, that extended holiday furloughs/days off were being cancelled for this next year, which included the upcoming Thanksgiving weekend,” explained Yovich. “Several who had planned on going out of town to relatives, really didn’t have a place to go.”
After such a success, the Savannah Council plans on making the Thanksgiving meal a tradition for years to come. “A huge thank you to all that donated cash, food, secured donations from businesses, helped in the setup/cleanup, and all other “logistics” of putting on a Thanksgiving Dinner for our military friends! This will be a continued event,” read the Savannah Council’s quarterly newsletter.