The American Legion Post 690 with the help of our community kicked off the Holiday season on Thanksgiving Day by helping 35 sailors from the Recruitment Training Command out of Great Lakes in North Chicago forget that they were away from home and celebrate the Holiday.
“I remember my first holiday away from home when I was in the service,” said Todd Pearson, Commander of American Legion Post 690. “I was homesick and certainly could have used a day full of reminders of home.”
The sailor’s day began at 8:45 AM Thanksgiving morning when they were picked up by bus at Great Lakes and taken to a bowling alley in Deer Park. After two hours of bowling, it was back to the American Legion Post in Palatine for a ham and traditional turkey dinner.
“We expected them to be hungrier than they were,” said Cindy Altenbach of the American Legion Auxiliary. “From what I found out, the sailors only get 12 minutes to eat their meals at the base and then immediately resume their training so they are not used to heavy meals. They did love the shrimp, though. Three pounds of shrimp disappeared as soon as it hit the table.”
Along with their dinner, the Legion brought the sailors a little closer to home. The sailors were able to call family and friends from a phone bank set up for the event. They also had five computers for email and Facebook as well as two computers with webcams and Skype.
The 35 sailors that attended the event were from 18 different states including Hawaii and Puerto Rico. The week after Thanksgiving, the sailors graduated from basic training and began specialized training in “A School.” “I talked to a number of sailors at the end of the day and they told me they really needed this day,” said Altenbach. “They appreciated the treats as well as the activities and the freedom to do what they wanted.”
The American Legion Post 690 could not provide this day for the sailors without the help of the community. The Legion would like to thank the following people and companies for their donations to this event. The donors were:
Kini Tax & Accounting Solutions
Plum Grove Dental Associates, LTD
LEK, INC dba McDonald's
Allied Air Conditioning & Heating Corp
STG Hardware Inc, True Value Hardware
John & Scott's Automotive
Cornerstone National Bank & Trust Co.
Edwin R. Czechorski
Greencastle of Palatine
Global MRO Products
Robert J. Smith Funeral Homes
PSC Power & Communications
Henning Brothers, Inc
Arlington Automotive Group
Patrick McHugh Agency, Inc
Larry Smith, State Farm Insurance Cos.
Kenneth & Barbara Zak
Richard & Jacklyn Geisler
Louis & Vicki Caravelli
Axis Financial Corporation/DBA Liquid Capital of Illinois
Hoffman Estates Jaycees
Rotary Club of Palatine Foundation
Elements Therapeutic Massage
Costco Lake Zurich
For further information on the American Legion, Legion Auxiliary and the Sons of the American Legion, any of their sponsored events or for membership write to their respective organizations at 122 West Palatine Road, Palatine, IL 60067, call them at 847-359-1606 or visit their web site at www.alpost690.us.