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  • Writer's pictureGayle Albertini

"The Marines have landed..."

Updated: Dec 1, 2023

The Marines visit FH for a Thanksgiving Holiday meal

"...and have the situation well in hand."

--Richard Harding Davis

The Marines landed in Fairfield Harbour on Thanksgiving Day to a welcoming crowd at Blackbeard's Sailing Club. The vibrant and smiling group of 32 marines visited Fairfield Harbour for a homecooked Thanksgiving meal provided by Harbour residents. They came from Camp Lejeune and Cherry Point, thanks to Fairfield Harbour residents Jay Barker and Connie Kern.

Jay Barker, a retired marine, wanted to ensure no marine had to spend a holiday alone or in barracks without a homecooked meal invitation. He coordinated the AFAF’s Adopt a Marine for Thanksgiving program with Fairfield Harbour and the social co-chair, Connie Kern.

Many of these young men and women have only a few months of experience as a Marine and most often are away from home for the first time. They sign up for AFAF’s Adopt a Marine for Thanksgiving to fill the void of being away from family on this major American holiday.

Left to right: Jay Barker and Connie Kern coordinated the Marines' Thanksgiving visit to Fairfield Harbour. Jay Barker, a retired Marine, enjoys the day with the younger generation of Marines.

The Marines said, "They told us about the program, and we didn't want to just sit around the barracks all day, do nothing, and then go to chow – so we signed up! And what a wonderful day this is." These Marines were from various walks of life – Texas, Indiana, Missouri, and Saipan, to name a few.

Many Marines got a homecooked Thanksgiving meal and a day out on the river fishing and boating!

Jay Barker said, "Getting the Marines this year was hard. More Fairfield Harbour residents wanted to host the Marines than we had Marines. Because many Marines were deployed or being deployed, the number of Marines changed daily. We had to run a lottery to see who got the Marines for the day. There were not enough Marines to go around!"

Thank you to Blackbeard’s Sailing Club members for providing the coordination point and the delicious breakfast buffet served to the Marines before they went off on their special Thanksgiving meal. Yes, these Marines love to eat!

Jay wants to thank the Thanksgiving hosts who got a Marine: Sherry Weissman, Bridget Seyerle, Darci and Tim Woodcock, Peter and Kathy Clay, Tony Morello, Don and Karen Moore, Skip and Cherylle Hird, Anne Niles, Sue Bischoff, John and Deb Rothengast, David Simpson, Darlene Scott, Joshua Tracey, Ralph Azersky, Mollie Phillips, Sonya Alexander, Shaun and Sarah Ross, Matt Spirko, Virginia Springer, Steve and Connie Burton, Gwendolynn Bauer, Chris and Barbera Barajas, Russ and Barbera Robinson, Tom Graves and Lisa Boomingchime, Tom Mcknight, Julie Tucker, Kay Bittersdorf and their families who collaborated to make this Thanksgiving holiday dinner and Thanksgiving with the Marines such a special day.

This includes EVERYONE who signed up and was willing to host even though there may have been extenuating circumstances or not enough Marines to go around in the end. What a wonderful celebration! It's good to see our communities come together to celebrate and for a good cause!

And a special thanks to Connie Kern, who orchestrated all the food and beverages at BSC's clubhouse! Connie's team, who helped set up and decorate the clubhouse, included Werner and Calley Wildenburg, Joan L Wilson, Angela Humphries, Joan Wilson, Amy Keane, and FH resident Rebecca Tindall, who worked tirelessly to help make and serve all of the food for both Thursday breakfast and the annual potluck dinner!

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