Biloxi Couples Invites Entire Military Unit Home For Thanksgiving - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

11/25/04

Biloxi Couples Invites Entire Military Unit Home For Thanksgiving

If there's no place like home for the holidays then a Biloxi couple made sure a group of servicemen got the chance to enjoy the next best thing.

Walter and Katherine Blessey invited an entire Navy unit to their home for Thanksgiving.

As a Vietnam veteran, Walter says he who knows what it's like to be away from home during the holidays.

With the jambalaya just right and the oyster dressing nearly done, there were plenty of good smells coming from the kitchen of Walter and Katherine Blessey.

The cooking started not long after the Blesseys talked to a family friend serving at the Seabee Base.

"He came for dinner last weekend and I said 'What are you doing for Thanksgiving?, Why don't you come?'" said Walter Blessey.

One thing led to another and soon the James Lapeyrouse's entire Navy unit was invited to dinner.

On Thanksgiving Day the family waited excitedly for their 39 guests.

Even the Blessey's 6 year-old grandson Gage was impatient for the big arrival.

"We're going to have a good party for Thanksgiving," exclaimed Gage.

Soon strangers became like family.

"It's just like someone that belonged into our family because they're here to serve our county and Walter and I are delighted to serve them their Thanksgiving meal because we are so grateful that they're here," said Katherine Blessey.

Knowing Christmas dinner will be in Kuwait this year makes this Thanksgiving invitation even more special to these Navy doctors, nurses medics and their spouses.

"They were shocked. They were absolute shocked. They couldn't believe that someone, a couple here in the area would invite the whole entire unit to share Thanksgiving with them," said Blessey family friend  James Lapeyrouse.

Rebecca Harten just got married a month ago and now her husband is being deployed.

She flew in from New York to be with him. "It is just so kind and so nice that people would do this for us so this is wonderful. I can't think of a better way to be able to share the day with him."

With a good home cooked meal, Katherine and Walter Blessey hope to bring joy to people who sacrifice so much for their country.

The sailors presented the Blesseys with several thank you gifts including a picture of the unit signed by all its members.

By Danielle Thomas

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