Four restaurants hold toast for 16 servicemen who died in plane crash

Jessica Jenson, left, wife of Sgt. Chad Johnson

JACKSONVILLE, Pitt County - The Jacksonville Carolina Ale House was part of a tribute toast for the 16 servicemen who died in the plane crash in Mississippi on July 10.

Seven of those who died were stationed at Camp Lejeune. The toast was held at 6 p.m. at the Carolina Ale House, Twin Peaks, Buffalo Wild Wings and Old Chicago locations in Jacksonville.

"It's the Marine Corps and it's the backbone of this community," said David Rangel, the event organizer. "People understand and appreciate that. It was great to see them contribute as much as they can."

Officials said the purpose of the fundraiser was to give back to the fallen service members involved in the tragic KC 130 plane crash in Mississippi. One serviceman's wife was in attendance at the event. Jessica Jenson's husband, Sgt. Chad Johnson, was stationed at Camp Lejeune. Jessica works at Old Chicago and went table by table thanking everyone in attendance for their love and support.

"We dated here, I got the job sitting at the bar here," Jessica Jenson said. "It's a big part of our lives."

"It's not just my regulars who I love that are showing up," Jessica Jenson said. "It's my friends and Jacksonville in general."

In addition, the restaurants donated 10 percent of their food sales during this time to the MARSOC Foundation. The Carolina Museum of the Marines was also be donating the use of its bus to transport participants from location to location.

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