• A Great Happy ThanksGathering Story

    Quezon City, Philippines native serving in U.S. Navy receives special Thanksgiving family reunion

    by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Shelby M. Tucker
    A 2006 St. James College of Quezon City graduate and Quezon City, Philippines native serving in the U.S. Navy was selected to participate in a special event which reunited service members stationed in Norfolk, Virginia, with their families for Thanksgiving.

    Seaman Jose Garcia, was one of only 72 Sailors and Marines chosen to participate in the reunion event. His mother, Jocelyn Garcia, and sister, Mara Vera Garcia were flown in from Salinas, California to spend the Thanksgiving Day holiday together.

    The Garcia Family

    The Garcia Family

    “It was an amazing opportunity to be with my family,” he said. “It’s been a while since I’ve had a Thanksgiving with my family, and I’m so thankful to [SC Johnson and MWR] for bringing my family here.”

    “Happy ThanksGathering,” produced by the U.S. Navy Mid-Atlantic Region Morale, Welfare and Recreation, in partnership with SC Johnson, reunited service members assigned to ships, squadrons and other Navy commands in Norfolk, with their loved ones, who were flown in to spend Thanksgiving together. Service members serving in our armed forces are often unable to see their families during the holidays.

    “I am so grateful for everything members of our armed forces and their families do each and every day to protect our country. They sacrifice a great deal, especially time away from their loved ones,” said Fisk Johnson, chairman and CEO of SC Johnson. “Reuniting these families for Thanksgiving is one small way that SC Johnson can say ‘thank you.’ My family and I are looking forward to spending the holiday with these brave men and women and the families that support them.”

    Throughout the two-day event, service members and their families enjoyed a variety of activities, including a Thanksgiving dinner, a tour of a Navy ship, and a Thanksgiving Day football watch party. The band Train also performed a private concert for the service members, their families and other Navy personnel stationed in Norfolk.

    The Norfolk area is home to nearly 70 ships, and 40 aviation squadrons that make up the Navy’s Atlantic Fleet. The 44,000 Sailors stationed here deploy around the globe protecting and defending the world’s oceans, providing humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, working with international partners and allies, and protecting and maintaining our national security and interests around the world.

    “Our service men and women work incredibly hard throughout the year and many are unable to visit their families during the holidays,” said Capt. Doug Beaver, commanding officer of Naval Station Norfolk. “SC Johnson’s support to unite these families for Thanksgiving is especially welcome and will make an incredible difference in the lives of these young men and women. This celebration will create memories for these families that will last a lifetime.”

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    “Why Being There Matters”

    On our planet, more than 70 percent of which is covered by water, being there means having the ability to act from the sea. The Navy is uniquely positioned to be there; the world’s oceans give the Navy the power to protect America’s interests anywhere, and at any time. Your Navy protects and defends America on the world’s oceans. Navy ships, submarines, aircraft and, most importantly, tens of thousands of America’s finest young men and women are deployed around the world doing just that. They are there now. They will be there when we are sleeping tonight. They will be there every Saturday, Sunday and holiday this year. They are there around the clock, far from our shores, defending America at all times.

    posted to Cedar Street Times on November 25, 2015

    Topics: Front PG News

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