As a military mother herself, Heidi Barfield couldn’t bear the thought of U.S. Marines spending Thanksgiving Day alone. So, the southern bell opened the doors to her very own home, hosting a feast for over a dozen recruits.
The Florida native had always been a patriotic woman. When her son, Justin Hanes, made the announcement he would serve his country as a U.S. Marine, she couldn’t have been happier. Shortly after, he told his mother a piece of information that didn’t leave her so pleased.
Justin explained his fellow recruits at Naval Air Station Jacksonville had no where to spend Thanksgiving. The marines’ families were scattered across the United States and most couldn’t afford a trip home. Mrs. Barfield couldn’t allow that to happen.
“These young men and women have written a blank check to the United States of America for up to and including their life,” an emotional Barfield said. “And if it came to that, could we peel and extra potato or a 40-pound turkey? You bet.”
The Florida mom quickly got to work, shopping, cooking, and baking. Before long, her efforts spread throughout Jacksonville, who thought she could use a little help. Donations of gift cards, cash, and even food rolled in!
The soldiers arrived on the special holiday, prepared for a home-cooked feast! Heidi graciously opened up her home to feed the crowd. The woman slaved for days, lovingly preparing a meal for her entire family and the twelve marines she adopted for a day.
After everything was said and done, the food was great and the marines were full. Luckily, Heidi had plenty of space for the recruits to pass out for a Thanksgiving nap.
“I just made sure everyone knew they had somewhere to stay,” the mom said. “My house is your house.”