Commander, Submarine Group Two

US Groton SUBVETS Providing Thanksgiving Meals to Sailors and Guardians in Blue
GROTON, Conn. -- U.S. Groton Submarine Veterans will provide nearly 900 meals on wheels complete with turkey, stuffing and all of the associated fixings to Sailors and local police standing the watch Nov. 24.
For the past four months local military leaders, members of U.S. Groton SUBVETS and community leaders have met to plan this annual Thanksgiving meal.
"This is a community-wide effort that is coordinated by SUBVETS Groton Base. It involves a tremendous amount of donations, and support from our membership, active-duty Sailors, local merchants, business and people in the community to plan, coordinate, and execute this program," said John Carcioppolo, Groton SUBVETS base commander.
Carcioppolo said with help from the Naval Submarine Base New London galley and students from Naval Submarine School the SUBVETS will mash about 500 pounds of potatoes and squash; prepare enough stuffing for 900 people, and prepare at least 150 turkeys to feed everyone.
"The overall support from everyone has been outstanding. The bottom line is that it's about taking care of policemen, Sailors, their families and submarine veterans who need our help to make Thanksgiving a meaningful family holiday. The Sailors are embraced by the SUBVETS family and I ensure each Sailor who comes through the doors that they will leave well fed, and with no less than six grandmothers," Carcioppolo said.
SUBVETS members and their volunteers will deliver meals on wheels to the following police and fire departments in the area this Thanksgiving: Groton, Groton Long Point, Groton City, Ledyard, Montville, Troop E, Waterford, East Lyme, Old Lyme and Electric Boat Fire Department. The volunteers will also deliver meals to the following boats and other Naval Submarine Base New London commands: USS Providence (SSN 719); USS Pittsburgh (SSN 720), Pre-Commissioning Unit (PCU) Mississippi (SSN 782), NSSC Watch Team; Port Operations; SUBASE Security; and SUBASE BCT 2.
Machinist's Mate 1st Class (SS/SW) James Pearson, of Owensboro, Ky., serves as the volunteer coordinator for the Virginia-class submarine PCU Mississippi. Pearson said this year marks the second year for the crew members to assist with the annual Thanksgiving dinner.
"As the PCU Mississippi coordinator for this event, it's my responsibility to ensure that all active-duty military and Electric Boat employees on watch receive a Thanksgiving meal," said Pearson.
In addition to organizing meals, he will also help prepare the traditional meal at the SUBVETS clubhouse.
"I will be ready and willing to assist wherever possible with food preparation from mashing the potatoes to frying the turkeys to actually plating up the food," said Pearson.