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Community steps up to open hearts, homes to Marines on Thanksgiving

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- Fifty-four Marines from Camp Lejeune will have a home-cooked meal right here in Wilmington this Thanksgiving.

Steve Schnitzler, CEO of Port City Java, says Thanksgiving is the ultimate family holiday. He wants to give some North Carolina-based Marines a great Turkey Day experience.

With the help of 27 host families, a bus load of 54 Marines will make their way to the port Port City for a delicious meal.

Schnitzler says he's not surprised the community was so willing to help.

"I think I was more surprised about how fast it happened. It went like that," he said. "But it doesn't surprise me that folks stepped up and were really, really happy to bring marines into their homes."

Schnitzler says after the story aired earlier this week on WWAY, more than 100 families offered to open their homes and hearts to the Marines.

He hopes to make the Marine meal an annual thing and appreciates all the help the community has given so far.

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How does one get a host for a non holiday?

I have a nephew that has left home and is wanting a nice home cooked meal, is there a host for such things that i can look into for him? He joined not to long ago and is home sick, i would love for him to be able to have a home cooked meal with the "family" feel. Our new military members should have something like this avail to them during these times they feel so alone. If you or anyone can help me i would greatly appreciate it. thank you.