Servicemen, women honored with holiday meal

CAMDEN, N.J. (WPVI) -- A Thanksgiving dinner was held on Thursday to thank members of the military for protecting our country.

Turkey, green beans, sweet potatoes and more was served below decks on Battleship New Jersey.

For some this is their first Thanksgiving away from home.

"I miss my family, but I love them dearly. They're still in my heart. They'll always be with me," said Airman Mirenda Parsons of the U.S. Navy. "But I have my family around me, you know, my friends they're my family."

Pat Jones, an event organizer, paused to think about the violent threats the young men and woman could face.

"It almost breaks my heart that they're facing a threat that we really still don't quite understand, but hopefully military minds are getting their hands around it," said Jones, Trustee of Battleship New Jersey.

Airman 1C Belinda Wilson was born in Ghana; her family is now in North Carolina. She tells Action News she appreciates Thursday's hospitality.

"I think it's great. This is my first time, and I was surprised by the turnout," said Wilson of the U.S. Air Force.

Sitting at Wilson's table was the Battleship's CEO Phil Rowan who was once a young airman during the Cold War.

"I know what it feels like to be stuck on a base on Thanksgiving, especially when you're a young airman, you don't get to go home like the officers do," said Rowan.

Nearby sat Sgt. Charles Adams, a 17-year veteran, his wife, Jessica, and daughter, Erica. There have been prior Thanksgivings when they have not been together.

"Often times he's on the road. It's more of a 'see you when you get back; hope you're safe,' " said Jessica Adams.

For soon-to-be, 10-year-old Erica she is thankful her family is together this year.

"And for God for letting us have this holiday," said Erica Adams. "Happy Thanksgiving to you."

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