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Battleship New Jersey hosting Thanksgiving for veterans

11/22/2013 - 11:39am

 CAMDEN — The Battleship New Jersey is expanding its Thanksgiving dinner for veterans this year to include active duty service members currently stationed at Fort Dix and Dover Air Force Base.

Established last year in order to provide homeless veterans a full-course Thanksgiving dinner, and a place to enjoy it, the event at the USS New Jersey is now expected to seat at least 250 current and former military service members and their families.

“Last year, it was a dinner just for homeless veterans, but afterward we found out from some of the bases around that there are people still stationed out there on Thanksgiving,” said Jack Willard, spokesman for the battleship museum, which is docked at the Camden waterfront. “We’re very excited about hosting this, and being able to give back to our veterans in the area.”

According to Willard, the battleship contains 238 seats in its main mess hall. However, working with Fort Dix, located in Burlington County, and Dover Air Force Base, in Delaware, officials at USS New Jersey stated they will be able to comfortably accommodate the approximately 250 slated to attend the Thanksgiving dinner.

Also included in that figure are homeless veterans identified by the Camden County Office of Veterans Affairs, working through Volunteers of America.

The full-course turkey meal, which has been donated from various local businesses, including Andreotti’s Catering, Food Circus Super Markets and Wawa, will be served by the battleship’s community volunteers.

“There are people going to be coming up from the bases in vans, and some people are coming up by themselves,” said Willard.

Residents are encouraged to join officials on the pier at 10:34 a.m. to welcome veterans to the battleship. Free parking is available in lot two, diagonal from the Susquehanna Bank Center, courtesy of the Camden Parking Authority.

Dinner is scheduled to run from 10:45 a.m. until 1 p.m. The USS New Jersey is located at 62 Battleship Pl., in Camden.

For more information, call Jack Willard at 856-966-1652, ext. 144.


Contact staff writer Jason Laday at (856) 686-3628, or email jladay@southjerseymedia.com.


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