INDIAN WELLS - More than 300 marines spent Thanksgiving with local families in the Valley.
"These are marines that are up at the 29 Palms base, and they don't have any place to go for Thanksgiving," said Mike Byrne, one of the organizers from American Friends of Our Armed Forces (AFAF).
Seven country clubs hosted the marines as part of the annual "Adopt a Marine for Thanksgiving" program sponsored by AFAF.
The Jenkins couple from Toscana Country Club in Indian Wells was one of the families to host the servicemen.
"You feel like you're making a difference in somebody's life, and l I feel like I cannot give enough of how much God has given me," said Mandy Jenkins.
Jim and Mandy opened their home to five marines and had Puerto Rican dishes cooked by Mandy, who is Puerto Rican. The marines and the Jenkins played pool, chatted, ate lunch and dinner and played at the golf course for the whole day.
"This is just a very unique opportunity being so far away from home from my wife and daughter. It really means a lot," said John Vargas, a field radio operator from Miami.
Bonding over home-cooked meals, these servicemen and host families said they have much to be thankful.