MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
For many, the best part about Thanksgiving is spending time with loved ones and feasting on the long-awaited turkey dinner. After hours of devouring turkey, stuffing and potatoes, there may be little room for desert.
Marine Corps Family Team Building hopes to fill what room will be left in the stomachs of many, tomorrow when they gave away thousands of pumpkin pies at the Marine Corps Exchange, aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, Nov. 18 in support of National Month of the Military Family.
More than 11,000 pies, which were stacked high in the back of a semi truck tractor trailer, were provided by an Eastern United States grocery chain.
"It's awesome to see the support from the local community and (base) programs," said Staff Sgt. Tifanni M. Hebron, an electrician instructor with Marine Corps Engineer School. "Everybody loves pie."
Patrons who entered the exchange were approached by smiling faces bearing sweet gifts. It seemed as if everybody shopping had pies in their hands, which is not a usual site to see at a department store, especially to those unaware about the giveaway. Patrons, in "drive-thru" mode, even lined up next to the truck in their vehicles picked up pies from their windows.
"My husband loves pumpkin pie," said a woman who was speaking to a MCTFB employee. "I've seen him eat a whole pie as a meal."
Jessica Ross, a department support trainer with MCFTB, said it was a way of showing appreciation for the sacrifices and hardship that military families take on and overcome.
The giveaway began at 9 a.m. and ended at 5 p.m. Marines and sailors brought boxes and bags of pies back to their units and shops to help quicken the distribution, but there were so many pies left, the giveaway continued on to Saturday.
"We're here to say thank you to the service members and their families," said Eileen McCallum, family readiness program trainer with MCFTB. "It's important to recognize their unwavering commitment."