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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A busload of Camp Lejeune Marines made their way to the Port City Thanksgiving morning to enjoy a holiday meal with strangers.

Port City Java organized the event that brought more than 50 Marines into Wilmington, pairing them off with families that were grateful for their service and happy to feed a few more.

Though more than 100 families wanted to help out, only 27 were needed. Twig Rollins considers himself lucky to be chosen.

“We’re going to have 20, 21 of us here, and it would be OK with me if we had 42 of us,” he said. “Just to let them know that they are loved and appreciated and that it’s just not lip service. They really are appreciated for what they do and what they are willing to give.”

Quamir Mathis, 18, and Andrew Fildes, 20, are both away from home and say this is the next best thing.

“I was like, ‘A real Thanksgiving dinner? Yes!'” Fildes said.

Mathis said, “I’m pretty new at it, but I’m trying to defend my country, and I just appreciate the gratitude that they’re showing us by bringing us into their home.”

Bill Harrell served in the Navy and knows how homesick the holidays make someone. He still remembers when a family took him in for Christmas dinner more than 60 years ago.

“They think about being at home on Thanksgiving and Christmas. I know I did when I was in the service,” Harrell said. “Just a whole lot of enjoyment, and it helped me to realize the true meaning of Christmas.”

Harrell says he hopes the Marines have the same fond memories of this Thanksgiving.

“They’re awesome,” Fildes said of the host families. “It’s great to be off base for a little bit.”

“These are my family,” Mathis said. “This is my family. That’s the best way I can think of it.”

Both the families and Marines say what they are most Thankful for is each other.

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5 Comments on "Wilmington families open hearts and homes to Marines"

Lori McDowell
2015 years 10 months ago

I am sad I misses this, this year, but I would love to do this next year. I live in Whiteville NC.

2015 years 10 months ago

I thought this was so nice, caring and warming. It is just me & my parents and I would love to open my home up to the Marines for next year. I love to cook and I think this would be an awesome thing to do for them. How could someone go about doing this next year?

2015 years 10 months ago

What abount Marines who can’t go home for Christmas, or don’t have a home for Christmas? How can I ascertain how to adopt a marine for the Christmas holidays?

2015 years 10 months ago

Many of these Marines (sidenote DO NOT EVER CALL A MARINE A SOLDIER they take it personally laugh old rivalry with the Army is all) who are barely legally men and are away from home for the 1st time deserve our support and its too bad more couldnt be done. Many of these Marines that were welcomed into these homes are likely fresh from Parris Island Boot Camp some might say just kids still wet behind the ears as they are in many cases individuals who just walked across a HS stage 6 months ago or less as HS Graduates and are on their first postings after Boot Camp. Remember these Marines voluntarily went in signed papers and made a committment to defend this country against all enemies foreign and domestic. To Lay their lives down for this country for each and every one of us if need be and possible even die if it comes to it to protect our very freedoms. We forget its individuals like these Marines we should be most thankful for. While we all sit around tables stuffing our faces and watching football and planning runs to the store for big deals. Hundreds of thousands of Marines, Navy Seamen, Army Soldiers and Air Force ground and air personal stand watch over us to protect our way of life, our rights to do as we do on Thanksgiving and every other day of our lives. I can tell you one thing your avg military officer or NCO would say this about either political party “Sir/Maam while I may agree or disagree with your political views and opinions I will put my life on the line and die defending your right to speak your mind”.. And I agree with that sentiment. Nothing bothers me more then when one side goes all haywire because they disagree..

I admit to being a registered Republican and many times we have had complaints that the left is biased in schools and on campuses around this country and discriminate against conservative values and political statements, it is with a heavy heart that I must therefore bring up the hypocrisy of what recently happened in Kansas. A student at a local HS sent a twitter message, using her own personal twitter account, while at a student gathering and school sponsored event regarding Republican Governer Brownback.. The student made it clear she felt that the Governor was in her words Stupid. The student was called on the carpet and it was demanded she appologize to the Governor and the school and to the organization that sponsored the event.. The tweet was brought to the attn of the school by a staffer of the Governor.. It also must be noted that many positive comments were also sent out by students regarding the Governor via twitter so this wasnt a case of use of personal electronics during a school function as no action was taken against them.. In conclusion Im disgusted by what has been done to this student, a registered Democrat (18yrs old who just recently voted in her 1st election a few weeks ago).. If this were a reveresed situation where a conservative student made a comment about a liberal political figure and the student was called on the carpet and similar demands were made Fox News and other conservative outlets would be screaming bloody murder.. We can not have it both ways, if such speech is protected in regards to a Conservative student making comments about the President or their state Governor then what this student did is no different and indeed she has the right to her opinion and has a right under the 1st amendment to express it. If who love this country and defend the Constitution allow a travisty like this to pass, then we are hypocrits of the worst kind. Tt would make us no better then the left wing liberals who we are comstantly complaining about doing exactly the same thing. We cant just turn the 1st Amendment on its head because somebody who essentially is “on our side” is criticized. What happened to this student amounted to nothing more then censorship and violation of her 1st Amendment rights something that as I mentioned about is an afront to those who serve our country and who died protecting those values and freedoms we hold so dear and many take for granted..

For the Record: My Father entered the Army in 1961 just out of HS and retired in 1992 as a Colonel with 2 Purple Hearts and dozens of medals for valor, bravery and achievement and did 2 tours in the most hated war in this countrys history in Vietnam being shot down 2X serving as a helicopter pilot both as XO and then Company Commander as a part of 1st Cav
My Grandfather (his father) flew bombers in WWII as part of the Army Air Corps
My other Grandfather Mothers father(was Canadian) and fought in WWII as part of the Eastern Shore defense operations with the US Navy and Coast Gaurd patroling and at times sinking UBoats
My Brother served in the Army including 2yrs as an Aide to at the time Major Gen Norman Swartzkopf (you may remember Stormin Norman from Desert Storm in 91) and was part of 24th Inf as well as a brief time in 75th Rangers (Knee injury basically forced him out)

I did not serve myself personal inthe miltary as I was DQd due to bilateral knee issues similar to my brothers. I did however spend 8yrs in Volunteer Fire and EMS including some of the worst days of my life when I Was living in NoVA and responded to 9/11 at the Pentagon.. (Ironically I lost a close friend that day who Id run into constantly as he ran at a neighboring Dept he was in NYC on regular business as we were all volunteers nights and weekends and all county holidays the paid staff were off were covered 100% by volunteers except for 3 24hr paid Medics) My friend ran 4 blocks to Tower 1 to see if he could help as a NREMT-P and Certified FF they were more thenhappy to get his assistance when he showed his credentials.. He died when Tower 1 came down.. I know many have heard the saying of 343 which refers to the number of FDNY who died that day I like to say 343+1 because in a way its true.. Irony had he been back home he likely would have been part of the mutual aide response to the Pentagon..

I know this probably is th elongest post Ive ever made but it comes from the heart. I would like to add I left EMS in 2003 because of what I claimed was needing a break maybe being burnt out but the truth was I developed PTSD as a result of 9/11. Ive never made a claim over it nor will I. I volunteered to go nobody put a gun to my head and made me go so that was my choice.. Secondly I still work with people in the medical field just in a different way (although right now not so much so due to freak fall and back injury which lead to surgery recently and may end up leading to a 2nd one more involved but should actually resolve all the back issues Ive fought with for years without any real resolution).

Ok I leave everybody with this one statement. Be Thankful for what you do have not upset over what you dont. Our time on this planet is but a mere speck of dust in the sands of time of this universe. Be good to each other and remember sometimes its not worth the fight and that maybe just maybe the other person might have a point after all. and lastly.. Dont every take anything for granted or anybody… Our freedoms are eroding everyday all int he name of safety, some maybe remotely legit as the world changes others not so much so. Somebody once told me Liberty must always been fought for because Tyranny is always onthe march to squash Liberty which progresses to this.. If you dont say something when somebodyelse is wronged or something wrong is being done you need to speak up because one day it might be you on the wrong end of something happening and either nobodyelse will speakup for you or God forbid nobody is left to speak up for you (a modified version regarding the Nazis as they picked apart society in Germany in the late 30s).. I dont fear the OWS folks. They have 1st Amendment rights like the rest of us, however what does concern me is the hate speech that has come out time nad time again from people supposedly representing them or part of their leadership.. Legitmate anti-semitism so harsh and full of hate it literally sounds like something you would have expected to hear in Germany in the 30s as they Jewish people were blamed for the problems in Germany.. Another thing while some people have tried to accuse the “tea party” of being racist and bigotted nobody has yet to provide verifiable proof of such yet we have proof of the anti-semetic remarks of many OWS types.. I can also assure you that any supposed “Tea Party” rallies did not include the need for bodyguards due to rapes and assaults taking place during said rallies. Now what Im about to say will surprise you. I think some of what the OWS crowd is upset about is dead on.. Politicians in DC and Fat Cats in NYC are too much into each others pockets and its a corrupted system.. GE paid zero taxes last year as a corporation and is that fair or right NO its not.. But the CEO of GE also is a huge democratic donor so the Democrats have dirty laundry just as Republicans do.. I know many have laughed at Herman Cains 9-9-9 plan or at the Flat Tax or the Fair tax.. Unless and until we simplify the tax code and cut off the ability of Congress to cut out loopholes for the lobbyists who in turn are paid by corporations who also donate to said politician when they do as they are told.. The problem is YES the system as it stands now is corrupt.. THe lobbyists need to be bugbombed outta DC like the roaches they are.. Im not a fan of Rick Perrys plan because its either you can pay what you do now or a 20% flat tax well first off considering nearly 1/2 of Americans dont pay taxes now they wont change and those that do pay over 20% will elect to pay the 20% meaning it screws the revenue stream entirely.. Cain’s idea is not bad personally I think it is unfair that nearly 1/2 dont pay any taxes.. You drive on the roads you get services fromt he government why arent your paying for what you use at least.. The fairtax I still think is the best solution but getting it passed would be like Moses parting the red sea.. 1st off people freak out when you mention a 23% consumption tax (especially in those states that dont have sales tax now). Look it up.. THe truth is prices would come down because no longer would employers have to pay 1/2 of FICA and MEdicare plus there would be no income tax on personal earnings therefore bigger paychecks to bring home.. Additionally you wouldntbe punished for saving money. Lets be honest most of us barely have any money to spare and no chance to save. If you could take the money you would normally pay into Social Security into an IRA or something (they make great Bond funds with high ratings and good returns but oh the fairtax doesnt kill SS its all funded as part of the system). Essentially you would pay 23% of the item when purchased anything sold used would NOT be subjected to taxation (IE consignment, yard sales etc).. Now people on th elower end of the income scale freak out about paying 23% taxes on items they need to live on.. This is covered under a section meaning every family unit would be given sent or ACH, etc each month an amount equal to the taxes necessary based on avg Cost of Living inthe area to cover food, drugs and other necessities of life so that would eliminate any tax burden on those in and around the poverty line or above and would apply to all indiviuals. THis also would encourage people to return their funds hidden overseas because they wouldnt have to worry bout being taxed on it now just for having made it.. THe other point is this.. I have nothing against people coming to this country to work and trying to make a beter life for their families what I DO have a problem with is the rampant fraud on going with SSN numbers and lack of taxes being paid to the govt in many cases while recieving and using a significant amount of government subsidies such as Medicaid and SNAP.. THe fairtax would allow these people to come out of the shadows work legitimately (a way to identify them legally as temporary workers or even at least legal with a legit Taxpayer ID) as well as pay taxes like anybodyelse would.. Finally is this.. We know the realty is most if not all criminal enterprises dont pay taxes to Uncle Sam hence why they usually get nabbed for tax evasion. Well with a system like the fairtax theres no more evasion possible or necessary. They want to spend their illgotten wealth to pump up the economy these criminals would be paying taxes just like everybodyelse. They want that 70″ TV sold (with taxes), the Bentley or whatever car same thing.. sold and taxes go abck into the govt like they should. It essentially makes not paying taxes impossible unless you dont spend any money which in some cases might not be bad as it would also encourage people to save up for a rainy day with more money in their paychecks they would be able ot do this.. The Fairtax has been studyed over and over and has been shown to meet or exceed income needs for the Federal Governent to cover replacement of income, FICA and Medicare/Medicaid taxes.. In fact it would do the one thing this country desperately needs which is allow investment by small businesses to expand and hire workers while actually cutting the cost of overhead for hiring said employee .. Its alot easier to figure out payroll when all you need is hours and hourly rate no fancy tax calculating software or anything.. NOW this does nothing about state income taxes and as a strong believer in the Constitution and the 10th Amendment clearly states powers not explicitly given to the Federal Government nor prohibited to the states leaves those powers to the state so any state income taxes would not be affected by the fair tax..And above all else the Fairtax does what I said needs to be done above all else it cuts off the moneypipeline to the lobbyists because there is ZERO way to manupulate the tax code in favor of corporations (I dont recall the fairtax implications but I suspect a flattax proposal is setforth for business income taxation).. People complain that businesses dont pay taxes yet we haev one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world which probably shocks many people but its true.. The problem is if you take to much taxes you do multiple things 1st you cut back on money the comopany can invest to expand or hire more workers, Secondly your punishing a company that does what its meant to do create a profit.. One undeniable fact.. Businesses make money by creating something, Governments create nothing yet spend money earned by others. Im not radical to think like many that we should just cut off the spigot to the feds and let them go without what I do think is that we need to re-eval priorities. 1st off is make sure the federal government is doing what its constitutionally required to do which is setup a proper miltary defense force to protect us. To regulate trade between our country and others and to as needed regulate trade within the states to avoid unfair practices (IE A potato fight between Idaho and Oregon leading to trucks being stopped and turned around).. I do believe somoe agencies hav a place the FDA SHOULD be one but I fear that there is signficant conflict of interest between the FDA and the drugmakers in some cases to cast doubt on impartiality as well as double standards between drug companies both with competeing products with one getting preferential treatment. The real problem is the farcical issue of drug reimportation from Canada. 95%+ of the drugs sold in Canada are made in the USA yet on repeated basis the FDA and ICE have seized drugs bought in Canada and “smuggled” back into the country by people who need them and cant afford their astronomical price in the US and they are seized under guise of being possibly unsafe which is all bogus as mentioned above.. Made in USA Drugs going to Canada and suddenly theycome back and they are no longer legal and effective hmm sounds fishy to me and many others.. Ok I just realized Ive gone from posting a comment to literally writing a political essay so with that I will bid you all a Happy Friday and Good SHopping if you are going out today just becareful alot of nuts on the roads I fear. (It was bad enough last night I cant imagine people literally setting out at 3-4am this morning for 5am openings and in many cases will not return home till the stores close tonight between 9 and 11pm

Clyde Frazier
2015 years 10 months ago

My wife and I would like to help a Marine at Christmas, preferably someone from the Northeast where we were both born and raised and lived there until we moved to Wimington, NC in the fall of 2005.


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