We didn’t have a Marine our first year, I am not sure why we didn’t think to, except that our very first year was organized on a whim literally the night before Thanksgiving.
After that first event, my friend Susan MacFarlane suggested having the Marines there, and as her nephew had just graduated Boot Camp, she “volunteered” him. And that’s how PFC Andrew Slingsby became our very first Marine – and the start of an amazing tradition.
It was extremely touching to see the families interacting with him and thanking him for his service. We knew then, this was the most important part of our event.