FORT BENNING, Ga., (Dec. 11, 2013) -- Operation Homefront and Soldiers assigned to 3rd Armored Brigade Combat Team, 3rd Infantry Division, Family readiness support assistants and spouses hosted a holiday toy distribution at a local Holiday Inn Columbus Dec. 6. This event benefited Soldiers and Families of Fort Benning, along with local area Post-9/11 wounded veterans.

Operation Homefront brightened the holidays for more than 300 children of approximately 120 Families. Each child received one premium toy, six stocking stuffers, and three children's bikes were raffled off.

"My dad had to take out a loan every year to pay for Christmas gifts that took the entire year to pay off," said Liz Fichtel, a program manager for Operation Homefront. "We would like to remind our service members and their Families that we love them and appreciate their service."

Soldiers from 3rd Squadron, 1st Cavalry Regiment, 3rd ABCT, 3rd ID volunteered their time to unload the donated toys and spouses worked hard through the night to prepare for the holiday toy distribution, making the event a success.

Soldiers from 2nd Battalion, 69th Armor Regiment, 3rd ABCT, 3rd ID, volunteered their time to finish unpacking and distribute the donated toys. The Soldiers were personal shoppers for each Family putting a smile on every face with holiday cheer.

"Being a personal shopper and giving out toys felt better than opening presents on Christmas," said Pvt. Michael Martinez, 2-69 AR, 3rd ABCT, 3rd ID.

Operation Homefront is a nonprofit organization with 22 field offices nationwide. It provides emergency financial and other assistance to Families of service members and wounded warriors. Toys distributed were donated or purchased with the generous donations of sponsors to include Dollar Tree, Walmart, and Veterans United Foundation. If you wish to donate or volunteer, please visit

Page last updated Wed December 11th, 2013 at 15:52