For the fourth year in a row, Post 991 in Worth, Ill., hosted a busload of Navy recruits from Great Lakes Naval Training Station on Christmas Day. Legion, Auxiliary and SAL members, as well as many volunteers from the community, spent a part or all of their day working to make Christmas Day special for these young recruits. Great Lakes is a bit over 50 miles north of our post. We pick up around 30 recruits each year and bring them back to our post, where they can use telephones and computers to contact family and friends. The recruits also entertain themselves with TV, video games, just relax in a recliner or even get a chair massage from a licensed therapist if they wish. Of course, non-stop food, including a formal holiday meal, is a huge focus.
These young individuals have been away from home for weeks, often for the first time in their lives. Our volunteers, including a police escort, the local fire district and dozens of citizens, all honor these young patriots for the path of service they are just beginning.