Home Away from Home for Twentynine Palms Servicemen
Many of our armed forces have to be away from their families during this holiday.
But a Palm Desert community welcomed three servicemen to Christmas dinner.
HM3 Gabriel Jimenez serves his country in the US Navy.
He is from Bethel, Connecticut, and has a friend who worked at Sandy Hook Elementary.
He says it is especially heartwarming this Christmas to be welcomed into a home away from home.
"I'm away from my family. Recently the Newtown incident happened really close to home, and it's hard to be away from family when something like that happens, and for someone just to be so generous and take us in, it's an amazing feeling," said Jimenez.
Five years ago, Palm Desert resident, Jo Rosen, heard an Adopt-a-Marine commercial on the radio.
Since then, she has hosted military service members at her home.
"It's probably the most rewarding thing that I could do for me, I so appreciate what they have done, they lay their life on the line for all of us, and this is the smallest token of something I could do to give back to them," said Rosen.
Lance Corporal Karl Pope with USMC says it's important to appreciate what you have, like the welcoming dinner.
"Because for me, I'm still alive, I'm not being shot at, I'm in a nice home right now about to eat, so I'm thankful for that, so I can't complain," said Pope.
Rosen invited the neighborhood to welcome the troops, give them a gift and thank them for their service.
HM2 Robert Rubio with the US Navy says it was a warm welcome.
"Good questions from the kids, and the moms especially and the families who really had a lot of questions about what we do, not only on a daily basis, but in worst of times as well for those that are deployed overseas," said Rubio.
The dinner and welcome was held at Ironwood Country Club.