MARINE CORPS LOGISTICS BASE ALBANY, Ga. - -- A Thanksgiving meal will be served at the Chapel Annex Nov. 27 for Marines who will not go home. Dinner will begin at 3 p.m., but refreshments and appetizers will be laid out at noon for those who arrive early.
Being away from family during the holidays can be depressing for young Marines. But a group of compassionate MCLB Albany wives will prepare a home-cooked meal to ease the heartache of homesick Marines.
"I wouldn't want my husband or daughter, who are Marines, alone on Thanksgiving," said Laurie R. Waltz, who heads the preparation of the meal. "This is something I would feel good about them going to if they were away from home."
Sgt. Maj. Kenneth Waltz, base sergeant major, encourages Marines to come and enjoy the meal. He will also be there before the feast, watching noon NFL action. Vegetable trays, cheese trays and other appetizing finger-food will be set up for those who arrive to watch the game. To make Marines feel at home plenty, of chairs and a large couch will be available for Marines to relax on.
For the past three years the sergeant major's wife, has been in charge of cooking and coordinating the annual feast for single Marines.
This year will be no different. Waltz will cook two turkeys and a ham. Over the years, members of the Officers' Spouses Club and the, Staff Noncommissioned Officers' Wives Club have helped provide the meal with the Base Chapel community
As in past years, the Chapel and the Staff NCO Wives Club will each donate a turkey and the OSC will provide a ham. One turkey will be stuffed and cooked in the oven, while the other turkey and ham will be smoked to offer the hungry Marines variety.
This year Laurie Waltz has made a list of needed items, such as side dishes and desserts, so she would not have multiples of the same dishes. She laughs when she thinks of last year's event when different people donated eight pecan pies.
Laurie Waltz will also deliver food to the Marines who have barracks duty, she said.
Laurie Waltz got involved with cooking the Thanksgiving feast because she just enjoys cooking for people, she said. She also enjoys the younger Marines' company.
"Being among the young Marines, my motherly instincts just take over," she said.
She recalled last year when a young Marine, right out of high school and new to the base, was at the event. She felt bad that he had to spend Thanksgiving away from his family at only 17.
But she made sure he had plenty of food and made a plate for him to take back to his room.
"Some Marines are used to being with a lot of family members on thanksgiving," said Waltz. "With everybody here together under one roof, it really feels like family."
Waltz is still accepting donations for anyone who would like to prepare a side dish or who would like to help serve the food. For more information, call her at 446-2054.