Coast Guard Recruits, South Jersey Residents Celebrate Holiday Together

Fireside photo by Scott Feldstein

Fireside photo by Scott Feldstein

CAPE MAY, N.J. – Recruits from Coast Guard Training Center Cape May are scheduled to spend Thanksgiving with residents of South Jersey, Thursday, as part of Operation Fireside.

Approximately 100 host families have volunteered to open their homes to the service’s newest volunteers this Thanksgiving in the Red Cross’ 35th annual Operation Fireside program. Approximately 350 recruits will get the opportunity to spend the day with the family, eat a home-cooked meal and relax.

“This willingness to support our Coast Guard men and women is an example of South Jersey’s commitment to both our service members and our nation,” said Capt. Todd Prestidge, commanding officer of Training Center Cape May.

Recruits will be picked up from the training center Thanksgiving morning by their host family and will get to enjoy a day away from the regiment and a day off from training.

“Most of them just simply want to take their boots off and call home,” said Prestidge.

Operation Fireside is a program that is ran and organized by members of the Southern Shore Chapter of the American Red Cross, who begin receiving volunteers for the holidays as early as Spring. They organize two Fireside events each year, one at Thanksgiving and the other for Christmas day.

For more information on participating as a host family, contact the Red Cross at 609-646-8330.

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