We planned that we would close our post on Christmas Day so our members and volunteers could spend the holiday at home, with family and friends.
That was our plan.
On Monday, Dec. 22, we received word that a Merchant Marine ship, the USNS Matthew Perry, was pulling into port at our local Navy base. Further, the crew was wondering if we would be open for them on Christmas. Without hesitation, we decided to open for the holiday. Someone suggested that we should have some kind of food available for them. On the spot, two hams were produced. Shortly after that, a member came in and donated a smoked turkey. A phone call was made and we were promised a warm potato salad. Another member came in and said that he couldn't be there, but he would donate chips and salsa.
Even more donations came in on Dec. 23. One of our ladies brought a couple of specialty breads. Another brought two pumpkin pies, whipped cream and dinner rolls. Vegetables and stuffing were promised as well.
On Christmas Eve, even more food was delivered or promised. Cakes and candy, salads and cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes and more.
On, Christmas Day, with less than 72 hours notice, we opened our doors and welcomed about 50 of our members, their guests and Merchant Marines to a home-cooked Christmas dinner.
Our plan was to spend Christmas Day, at home, with family and friends and, in the end, we did just that. At our beloved post, with our American Legion Family and our new found friends from the USNS Matthew Perry.