Dr. James Kauffman of Linwood, right, brought a limo to take
recruits to his recruits home Thursday.
Vince DePrinzio took a group of recruits back to American Legion
Post 184 in Wildwood for Thanksgiving.
Local families pick up registration forms at the U.S. Coast
Guard Training Center Cape May.
Company commander John Ruchser calls on recruits to go with
families for Thanksgiving.
Deanna Podgorski of Villas, and her son Jerry, left, were
hosting recruits James Bello, center, from Oahu, Hawaii; Justin
Griffith, of Amarillo, Texas; and Mike Joyce, of Syracuse, N.Y.
Jerry Podgorski graduated from the training center last week.
U.S. Coast Gurard Training Center commander Capt. William Kelly
talks to recruits before they depart with families.
Operation Fireside is a program at the U.S. Coast Guard Training
Center Cape May, where local families open their homes to recruits
for a Thanksgiving Day meal. Recruits head out with families and
organizations Thursday for a Thanksgiving Day meal.
Posted: Thursday, November 24, 2011 11:46 pm
Updated: 12:25 am, Fri Nov 25, 2011.
Recruits at the U.S. Coast Guard’s Training Center Cape May got
a holiday reprieve Thursday to relax with local host families for
More than 90 families in Cape May, Atlantic and Cumberland
counties fed and entertained 226 recruits, many of whom were
spending their first Thanksgiving away from home.
The hosts across South Jersey provided a home-cooked meal and
treated the recruits like family, Petty Officer Donnie Brzuska
said. Residents picked up the recruits at the Coast Guard base at
8 a.m. for a day of football, food and relaxation.
“It’s always moving to see families who want to give back to the
military,” Brzuska said. “I’ve never seen anything like anywhere
else I’ve been stationed — the help and support we get from local
Brzuska visited in Linwood with the family of Dr. James
Kauffman, who set up several computers and offered phones for
recruits to talk with out-of-state relatives.
“It’s a good opportunity for the recruits to take a break from
the stressful training environment and decompress and share some
time with these generous families,” Brzuska said.
“Operation Fireside,” which is organized by the America Red
Cross, has matched Cape May’s recruits with host families on
Thanksgiving since 1981.
“We really appreciate the generosity of all the volunteers,” he
Contact Michael Miller:
Thursday, November 24, 2011 11:46 pm.
Updated: 12:25 am.