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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Thanksgiving is just five weeks away.

The organizers of the Marines for Thanksgiving program are asking for your help getting ready for another happy holiday for some of America’s finest.

This is the third year organizers of Marines for Thanksgiving are bringing men and women in uniform to the Port City. To make this possible, organizers are asking Wilmington families to make some extra room at their tables.

Marines for Thanksgiving organizers ask interested families to take in two Marines from Camp Geiger in Onslow County. The marines are 18 and 19 years old and have just finished boot camp.

“It’s been kind of eye-opening to realize that people the same age as my kids are bearing this kind of responsibility for this country,” said Steve Schnitzler, CEO of Port City Java, who started the program.

Port City Java and Arthur J. Gallagher Insurance Company are chartering three buses to bring the Marines from Camp Geiger. The buses will drop the Marines off at Hoggard, Laney and New Hanover high schools, where families pick them up and take them home with them.

“If you can’t spend it with your family, then to be able to spend it in someone else’s home and get a home cooked meal, it makes it a little less hard to take being away from your family at an important holiday,” Schnitzler said.

During a time of giving thanks, coordinators say there is no better way to thank these young men and women then to invite them to be part of your family for the day.

Organizers say the hope to bring more than 150 Marines to the area this year. If you are interested in hosting a couple, e-mail Schnitzler at steve@portcityjava.com.

Interested families should live within 15 minutes of the designated pick-up areas.

Comment on this Story

  • col tom

    I think this is a great initiative, for a couple of reasons.
    First, it is nice to see that people are willing to open their homes and hearts to our young Marines who are away from home, many for the first time in their lives.
    Second, it hasn’t been that long ago since Marines weren’t really that welcome in Wilmington.
    It’s good to see we’ve moved past that.
    Sign me Lieutenant Colonel USMC, Retired

  • Jess

    I would love to join a family for Dinner this year. I was planning on doing some soup kitchen work in the morning and then I was going to figure something out???? I’ve had a rough last year and this would be great!

    Semper Fi

  • Shawn

    Do you have a place to go? We would love to have you and several others over. Please let me know if you are still interested.


    Shawn K.

  • Criste D.

    My son is one of the young Marines who benefited from spending Thanksgiving with a host family. Words cannot express how much this meant to these brave men and women and their families at home. Thank you!

  • Patti Jorash

    My son is at Camp Geiger. Fox and November companies graduated from Parris Island on November 15th, and many had to report to Geiger on the 26th. I don’t yet know what my son did on Thanksgiving, but all these young marines become family, and each of them are in my heart as my own child. Thank you and God bless everyone who reaches out like this. It means so much to know that there are such good people.


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