YONGSAN GARRISON, South Korea — Soldiers on unaccompanied tours to South Korea can still have a family Thanksgiving feast, as long as they contact the USO by Friday.

For the second year in a row, the USO — officially, the United Service Organizations — will be matching up American soldiers with American civilian families in Seoul who have volunteered to host them for Thanksgiving dinner.

Last year, 25 civilian families “adopted” around 40 soldiers. This year, USO officials said, they will take as many soldiers as sign up.

“The number of families really depends on the number of soldiers. A lot of civilian families volunteer, so we’re always in need of soldiers to pair up with them,” said Rita Ehrman, a USO organizer at Camp Kim.

Last year, some of the dinners were hosted in private homes and some were at the area’s fancier hotels and restaurants. But regardless of location, the intent, Ehrman said, was to give the civilian families a chance to meet the soldiers and thank them for serving so far from their own families.

“The U.S. civilian community here in Seoul doesn’t have a lot of chances to interact with the soldiers, so this a good opportunity for them to meet and say thanks,” she said.

Soldiers can sign up with their friends, Ehrman said, or can go as individuals. The families are mostly members of the U.S. business community in Seoul.

Because the program centers around Seoul, most of the soldiers who sign up are from Area II. But soldiers from Areas I and III are encouraged to sign up, and if enough do so, transportation from those locations might be arranged by the USO.

For more information, or to sign up, call Marvin Sanders at the USO at DSN 724-7781.

Sign Up for Daily Headlines

Sign up to receive a daily email of today's top military news stories from Stars and Stripes and top news outlets from around the world.

Sign Up Now