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Soldiers get home away from home for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a time for families to gather together but many service men and women around the world will not be able to sit down to dig into a Thanksgiving meal with their families.

However, Keesler Air Force Base is helping to make their students’ Thanksgiving one they will remember this year.

The 21st annual Home Away From Home program allows active duty, retired and civil service personnel in Biloxi host non-prior service Airmen in their homes with home-cooked meals on Thanksgiving Day.

“A lot of these airmen are 18 or 19 years old and this is their first Thanksgiving away from home,” said Capt. Steven Wichern, Chaplain for the 81st Training Wing. “We want to make sure that they have an opportunity to have that home, away from home.”

Wichern said 60 host families have signed up to take in over 370 airmen who will participate in the Keesler Thanksgiving tradition that has been going on for the past 21 years.

“This event helps them stay resilient by reminding them even when they’re separated from immediate family members, they have the love and support of the community and their Air Force family,” said Wichern.

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