Have you ever hosted a soldier over Thanksgiving?

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Posted 11/7/2013 by FairyPoppins in NSBR Board
 

FairyPoppins
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Posted: 11/7/2013 6:24:43 AM
I'm currently living in Tokyo and although we're not American we do celebrate Thanksgiving. This year my DD will be building houses in Sri Lanka for Habitat for Humanity over Thanksgiving, so there will only be DH, DS and me.

We have the opportunity to host one or more US soldiers who are based in Japan for dinner and celebrations this Thanksgiving. Do you think they would want to visit a stranger's family for the day? Although I would like to invite someone, I think it may be quite awkward for them.

What do you think?

voltagain
OklaPhoma

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Posted: 11/7/2013 6:30:06 AM
We did for a lot of years, but then again we were also military.
It can be a bit awkward at first. Just remember those who accept the invitation tend to be out going people who enjoy meeting new people themselves so they are good conversationalist over all. Maybe invite two who already are friends to help ease the initial awkwardness.

I found it helpful if there were some small meal prep tasks they could help with and a few choices in games (video, cards, or board games)


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BucketHead

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Posted: 11/7/2013 6:30:57 AM
I haven't hosted a soldier but I did host foreign students one year - it was a little awkward at first but that didn't last long and I think they really enjoyed being part of the celebration with a family.

For American soldiers who are used to Thanksgiving with their families - I think having that little bit of home would be even more special. I encourage you to open your hearts and your home and invite them - I know when my DH was a single soldier stationed overseas, he would have truly appreciated it.

Jill-of-all-Crafts
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Posted: 11/7/2013 6:52:17 AM
Yes. Those who accept the invitation typically are very young, away from home for the first time and single.

Just the offer alone is welcoming. Know as a military spouse, I thank you for offering your home and time to allow someone a taste of home (even of not your home).
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AncestralPea

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Posted: 11/7/2013 9:01:17 AM
I do every year! (DH is active duty Air Force.). We often have friends join us for holidays.

I probably wouldn't accept a stranger's invitation off the street. But then, you wouldn't have a way of contacting a service person without some sort of association. If you have a contact and know some military, it's a wonderful idea. I would expect at least two, as I probably would want to bring a friend.


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scrapaholicmt
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Posted: 11/7/2013 9:29:46 AM
we don't live in a place where soldiers need hosting but we've hosted international students from our university and also the odd college kid who just couldn't get home for the holiday. There is always one or more at our table who could be considered strangers. But they're only strangers for about 5 minutes.

If you think it could be awkward then have them bring a friend.


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megmc
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Posted: 11/7/2013 10:04:09 AM
I would think that you and your family were awesome to do that.

princess_and_the_pea
StuckOnPeas

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Posted: 11/7/2013 10:16:59 AM
Wow. That's awesome that you would do that! Just the fact that you're considering it says a lot about how warm and generous of a person you must be. I'm sure whatever awkwardness at first would quickly be put to ease! I second what someone else said to let them help with some small cooking task or help in some way. People want to feel like their part of the celebration, not just an outsider looking in and that would likely be a nice breaker and help them feel included.

katiez4kids
StuckOnPeas

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Posted: 11/7/2013 10:20:39 AM
YES and they love it. We had students from our military base. They do not get to go home for the holidays and they all LOVED being part of our big, crazy, LOUD family dinner.

Do not hesitate if you get the opportunity. Usually they are single sailors/soldiers and they love it.

FairyPoppins
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Posted: 11/7/2013 6:15:17 PM
Thanks for all the replies. I just found out that my DH will be out of the country on business for Thanksgiving so there will just be me and DS at home. Perhaps I'll invite some of my new neighbors over along with the military guys, so it'll be a big crowd and less awkward for everyone.
In fact I'm sure there is a Pea whose son is on active duty in the Navy here in Tokyo. I wonder if he would like to come over with some buddies.

Tommygirl
PeaFixture

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Posted: 11/7/2013 6:35:16 PM
My sister invited some servicemen and women over for Thanksgiving 20 years ago and that is how I met my dh!!!


me0605
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Posted: 11/7/2013 8:24:09 PM
Oh- Please do it!! My son was away from home for the first time ever at Thanksgiving right after Basic Training. He and 2 others accepted an invitation for Thanksgiving from a hosting family, and I, as his mother was so grateful that he did not have to spend that first holiday alone. He is not a real social guy, but he did go with 2 others, and was really glad he did. He had some nice stories to share about the family/meal, etc. So from a mother's point of view- Please do it!

adgratteau
StuckOnPeas

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Posted: 11/7/2013 8:36:18 PM
We are active duty and this year we are going to ask to host 2 basic trainees. We've got kids, dogs, and another family that is coming who has a family member down range. It's gonna be great!

tallydale
StuckOnPeas

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Posted: 11/7/2013 8:38:39 PM
I'm hoping to this year, if his mom will let me!





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Posted: 11/7/2013 8:52:08 PM
We do, and for the last couple years, the multi-family potluck we are part of has hosted several Airmen. Our group are all USAF veterans, active, reserve and retired.


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Posted: 11/7/2013 9:14:25 PM
If my family wanted to do this, would we just call the local bases and make the offer?



_Vanessa_
AlienGreenPea

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Posted: 11/7/2013 10:53:13 PM
You're awesome, have fun! Just don't call them soldiers unless they're in the Army! Lol. Soldiers, Airmen, Sailors, Marines.
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Jill-of-all-Crafts
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Posted: 11/8/2013 1:08:43 AM
Journey Fan-

Call the base information line and ask for the Chapel or the resource center. I know for the Air Force it is the Airmen and Family Readiness center but not sure what its called for other branches but the base operator should know, if you're not near an AF base.
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ScrapinPrincessJules
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Posted: 11/8/2013 9:01:15 PM
YES! We live in San Antonio, TX, home of basic training for the Air Force. We LOVE LOVE LOVE doing it! Two years ago, we hosted two young men and they were an absolute delight! We still keep up with them via facebook.

When we got them here, we first made them call their folks!! Then we asked them take off their boots and sat them down in front of the tv on the couch while they surfed the internet, watched tv, and then played on the xbox.

We fed them turkey and all the sides plus got their favorite treats like Dr. Pepper and Oreos for the ride back to the base.

My whole family enjoyed it and we got letters from their parents thanking us for having them call and hosting them.




Graciesmom1219
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Posted: 11/9/2013 1:37:10 AM
As an Air Force spouse, thank you, what a kind and generous gesture.

FairyPoppins
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Posted: 11/9/2013 5:17:28 AM
Great, thanks for the added replies. Now I have to get started on the menu and find out what's available in Japan!

adgratteau
StuckOnPeas

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Posted: 11/28/2013 9:57:15 PM
Happy thanksgiving! I wanted to resurrect this thread because we hosted two basic trainees today and we had a blast! One was from NYC and he had a ten year old sister that he missed so much. Our daughter is 8 so he loved chatting with her. And the other was from Seguin. About 30 min away. His family is broken up but he loved hanging with us! We did the same as Jules, cokes, Gatorades, sweets and shoes off! Then it was turkey time! They were so thankful to not be at the chow hall for pale turkey slices and canned gravy! Such wonderful young men! I am thankful for them! They were kinda apprehensive at first that DH is an officer. But, soon we told them that we just don't operate that way and we were thankful for them! I think they enjoyed themselves. We exchanged phone numbers and addresses and since we are local we might make it to their graduation! If you ever get the chance to do it, don't be shy!

llnutswife
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Posted: 11/28/2013 11:52:48 PM
We did for years. We always found it to be a great addition to our holidays. When we were in England we hosted single airmen every weekend. My hubby is retired AF and we looked at it as a part of our duty and a joyful addition to our lives. So to all who hosted a military person today thank you from the bottom of my heart. You are also a hero to host a hero


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