Navy recruits have special Thanksgiving meal at Morton Grove American Legion

MORTON GROVE, Ill. (WLS) -- On Thursday, dozens of Navy recruits were able to take a day off from boot camp to celebrate the holiday.

They were able to reach out to their family around the world.

Free calls, Skyping and a full Thanksgiving dinner, were all a way to say thanks for their service and sacrifice.

They came by bus from Naval Station Great Lakes in North Chicago and were welcomed home at the Morton Grove American Legion Post 134.

There, veterans recognized dozens of soon-to-be sailors this Thanksgiving as a new class of American heroes.

"Everybody that served should always be thanked for what they did," said Post 134 Commander Bill Peterson. "They're treated nice, with respect and they thoroughly enjoy that."

For the recruits, it's time to take a break from the rigors of boot camp for just a few hours.

For some, tears were streaming as their heard the voices of their loved ones on the other end of a phone line or saw them face-to-face on Skype.

"I feel more like calm now being with my mom now and knowing I'm going to see her next Friday when we graduate," said Navy Recruit Estehla Puente as she Skyped with her mom in Houston.

For these recruits, another Thanksgiving gift was the pleasure of being served a meal instead of working through the chow line.

After speaking to this recruitment class, it's clear they are ready to give thanks and take the reins.

"I'm thankful for the opportunities I have," said Navy Recruit Adrian Stoutmire. "There are already so many people that are thankful and depending on us to be the next ones up to carry on what people before us have done... It gives you a sense of pride of like, I've got a big job to do that's bigger than myself."
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