MARINE CORPS AIR STATION CHERRY POINT (WNCT) — President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden arrived just before 6 p.m. Monday to take part in a “Friendsgiving” meal for service members at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point.

The Bidens met with service members, spoke to the crowd and helped serve the meal. President Biden, who joked that he was serving the mashed potatoes, also introduced the Chaplin who spoke, gave the blessing and encouraged those in attendance to get their meal.

The meal was hosted by the Robert Irvine Foundation.

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Troops from Camp Lejeune, New River and Cherry Point participated in the dinner. It’s all part of Jill Biden’s Joining Forces Initiative and their way of supporting military families, veterans, caregivers and survivors across the country.

The Bidens took part in a similar event in November 2021 at Fort Bragg.

Before Monday’s activities, Gov. Roy Cooper joined Biden at the White House for the Thanksgiving turkey pardons. Both of the turkeys are from North Carolina. Both will live at a facility at N.C. State after the pardon.

“The votes are in, they’ve been counted and verified,” Biden said as he welcomed the turkeys before a crowd of hundreds on the South Lawn with the usual dad humor. “There’s no ballot stuffing. There’s no fowl play. The only red wave this season’s gonna be if German Shepard Commander knocks over the cranberry sauce on our table.“

Cooper was also expected to be at Monday’s dinner at Cherry Point.

Many of the troops spent Monday afternoon enjoying some fun family bonding time. There were games set up like cornhole and different board games for them to enjoy before dinner.

The Associated Press contributed to this report