By Cheryl Elias 

CHERRY HILL, N.J. (CBS) — A nearly decade-long Thanksgiving tradition is coming to an end in New Jersey, but a new one is taking its place.

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For nine years the Spevak family of Cherry Hill and the Jewish War Veterans Post 126 have hosted a surprise Thanksgiving dinner for the military men and women who were away from home waiting for their overseas orders at Joint Base Fort Dix.

Those numbers have dwindled due to the drawdown in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Son Marshall Spevak says Thanksgiving Plan B is ready.

Marshall Spevak

Marshall Spevak


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“We’re going to be having this right aboard the USS New Jersey,” he says, “on the deck in the banquet room.”

The guests of honor, along with military from the area, will include homeless vets and their families.

“Much in the same spirit of caring for those who have served us,” Spevak says.

He says they’re counting on the flag wavers to return. There will be free parking in Camden. People are being asked to come out at 10:30 a.m. Thursday.

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The 25-year-old Spevak has been part of this Thanksgiving event since his teens and says he’s glad it is continuing for a tenth year.