GULFPORT, Miss. (WLOX) - One Gulfport woman brought Navy Seabees a cultural experience through a home cooked meal.
After losing her husband, who was once a Navy vetaran, Lorraine Santo takes pride in making meals for military members. This acts as a way for her to show her continued support.
In the kitchen, Santo does not waste time, especially when she has dozens of mouths to feed. Her second special meal for military members stationed at the Naval Construction Battalion Center - also known as the Seabee base - is another example of this.
“This is like their mama bringing them something to eat," said Santo. “We fed them and I made lasagna for this. This month it’s chicken paprikash.”
Lorraine said her husband was a Seabee for many years before he died. She now spends her days volunteering with other veteran families.
“We are NMCB 74 group, that was one of the first battalions that was recommissioned in 1966 for Vietnam,” she said.
New members go through intense training on the basics of construction art, according to Chaplain Paul Smith.
“This is an opportunity to let them decompress, kind of take the edge off,”" Smith said.
The event also gives the young group a chance to mingle with others who have been in their shoes.
“A lot of people with prior service have a lot of wisdom on this,” “Kyra Griffin with the U.S. Navy said. "Being somebody straight from bootcamp, it’s great to have that type of leadership.”
Lorraine said that she’ll keep on cooking because it is her way of showing appreciation for those who serve.