Photo Information

Private First Class Stephen King, a motor vehicle operator with Combat Logistics Battalion 5, Combat Logistics Regiment 1, 1st Marine Logistics Group, connects with retirees over a dinner held at Fairwinds-Ivey Ranch Retirement Community in Oceanside, California, on Aug. 26, 2015. In conjunction with the Single Marines Program on Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton and just in time for Thanksgiving, the Fairwinds-Ivey Ranch Retirement Community hosts a dinner for volunteering Marines and retirees on the final Wednesday of every month from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. (USMC photo by Lance Cpl. Devan K. Gowans/Released)

Photo by Lance Cpl. Devan Gowans

Keeping the Spirit of Thanksgiving Alive

27 Nov 2015 | Cpl. Devan Gowans I Marine Expeditionary Force

In conjunction with the Single Marines Program on Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton and just in time for Thanksgiving, the Fairwinds-Ivey Ranch Retirement Community in Oceanside, California, hosts a dinner for volunteering Marines and retirees on the final Wednesday of every month from 4-6 pm.

The spirit of Thanksgiving flourishes through those who are content to look upon their fortunes and find thanks in the service members’ commitment to keeping the nation safe.

Just shy of a century old, Sylvia Winderbaum, a woman residing at the Fairwinds-Ivey Ranch Retirement Community, carefully rises from her seat following her dinner in the dining hall and reaches for her walker. Sylvia takes a final look at the Marines in their service uniforms.

“I’m just filled with pride,” baring a warm smile before parting from the small group of young Marines. “I’m very honored by your company, and I love you all very much,” she says, delivering her emotional farewell to the Marines. “Thank you for your service.”

In conjunction with the Single Marines Program on Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton and just in time for Thanksgiving, the Fairwinds-Ivey Ranch Retirement Community in Oceanside, California, hosts a dinner for volunteering Marines and retirees on the final Wednesday of every month from 4-6 pm.

Apart from being able to experience the gift of service and spirit of Thanksgiving, another reward that Marines can receive from the retirement home dinner is the chance to connect with a generation outside of their own.

When Lance Cpl. Jason Feliciano, a motor transport operator with Combat Logistics Battalion 5, Combat Logistics Regiment 1, 1st Marine Logistics Group, I Marine Expeditionary Force, sat at Winderbaum’s table, he instantly recognized her prominent New York accent, and both were filled with surprise when it was revealed that they shared the same hometown of New York City. The dinner table became packed with conversations of childhood memories and pastimes of the same place shared by two generations that existed nearly a century apart.

Along with being a proud patriot, Winderbaum is the mother of a Marine Corps veteran and she spends most of her time knitting star-spangled lap robes for the veterans in the retirement community, she added.

The importance of service to the community exists in the notion that Marines are readily available to give to their nation. Service gatherings like those offered through the SMP give Marines the opportunity to contribute to their community and join together with the public during the Thanksgiving season.