by Amanda Marrazzo, Northwest Herald, December 26, 2022

On Christmas Day, the McHenry Masonic Lodge 158 in Illinois hosted around 50 recruits from the Great Lakes Naval Base for a festive meal and activities. Many of the sailors, who are in boot camp at the North Chicago base, are away from home for the first time during the holidays.

The Masonic Lodge, which has been hosting Christmas Day for the recruits since 2003, provided them with breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as tablets to facetime with their families and therapy dogs.

Funds for the food and supplies were donated by lodge members, local businesses, and a GoFundMe page. The recruits returned to the base in the evening.

The Masonic Lodge’s worshipful master, Frank Heabler, said that the event is a way for the Masons, many of whom have served in the military, to give back and show appreciation for the recruits’ service.