The holidays can be tough times for active members of the military, when duty separates them from the bonds of family and friends. A little extra effort goes a long way to help ensure they feel the appreciation they all deserve. This year, GovX was proud to sponsor a second-annual Thanksgiving celebration at Marine Corps Air Station at Miramar here in San Diego. 258 Marines from the VGMR-352 Raiders squadron participated in this event, and thanks to the generosity of 25 of our brand partners who offer products and gear here on GovX, as well as several wives of USMC officers, we were able to ensure that every man and woman in attendance walked away from the event with something special and a classic, hearty American meal.
In addition to the photos we’ve posted here, we received the following email—written by a Marine Corps mother who helped us organize the event—which really captured the spirit of the day. We offer our thanks to everyone in attendance, to the Raiders, to the Corps, and to everyone who’s ever served in uniform.
To the GovX staff –
A big thank you to GovX for all you’ve done for the Raiders. I usually roam around the hangars at Miramar, talking with the young people stationed there and listening to their comments about the events we’ve had for them. I wanted to share some of what I heard with you:
In the buffet lines a few of the Marines told me that this was the second year they attended. Two different Marines told me that there was no way they were going to miss it! The anticipation and glee in their voices said it all. As one Marine filled his plate he saw the corn bread and said, “Wow, now I really feel like I’m back home.” I had no idea corn bread could bring such joy. He wasn’t the only one who made mention of it. I guess Miramar has got more than a few Southern Marines!
And they LOVED the gifts. I know they didn’t yell and scream with excitement like you might expect them to, but you have to realize that it is the Marine Corps way. They don’t gloat when they are singled out. It’s more subdued. I talked with some guys individually about the gifts they received. The guy with the hatchet was so excited. He had it out of the packaging just admiring it and showing everyone. The young man who won the bike was sheepishly thrilled. By his demeanor I knew he was reluctant to brag about it. I asked, “Is that what you won?!” He smiled and nodded his head with a huge grin. The guys sitting around the Marine that got the scope kept telling him they wanted to trade with him, and he just told them, “No way!”
That so many of your staff came to spend the day with them made it truly memorable for the Raiders! Did you hear that one Marine who went up to get his prize from the girl who said “Can I have the girl instead?” Let’s just say there were more than a few Marines who were, uh … not looking at the prizes. Haha.
Some of the young Marines there had never been away from home, and so to have a simple conversation with members of your staff—who are there for them and who thank them for their service—is a huge deal to them. I told my son—a former Raiders pilot—what the day was all about and he kept saying, “They made a difference for those guys.”
You have to realize things from the perspective of a military mom like me. I wasn’t able to be with either one of my children this Thanksgiving. When I can’t put my arms around my own kids, having the opportunity to be there with other young military personnel helps fill the void in my heart. Thank you for allowing me to have that privilege at your Thanksgiving luncheon.
From this military mom and on behalf of all the moms of the Marines there, I thank you all from the bottom of my heart.
With much love and appreciation,
A USMC mom and US Navy mother-in-law