Gov. Pat Quinn says the men and women who volunteer to serve in the military deserve the nation's gratitude on Christmas Day and every day.
Quinn had Christmas lunch in Berwyn on Tuesday with service members from the Great Lakes Naval Academy. Many of the recruits were spending their first Christmas away from their families.
Quinn called them "the best of the best." He says it was inspiring to see hundreds of young people who've volunteered to serve their country.
It was the seventh year that community groups in Berwyn have organized the event. Quinn has attended every year except in 2011, when it conflicted with his annual trip to visit injured service members at a military hospital in Germany.