FORT BLISS, Texas--Soldiers, Sailors and Marines gathered in the pre-dawn chill of East Fort Bliss for the annual holiday food drive run.

The servicemembers completed a three and a half mile route decorated with food donations for the Armed Services YMCA and toy donations for Operation Santa Claus.

"We do (the holiday food drive run) to help the needy families of Fort Bliss," said Command Sgt. Maj. Robert S. Rodgers, Fort Bliss command sergeant major. "They are our main concern."

Rodgers added that any food left over is donated to needy families in the El Paso community.

After the run, controlled chaos reigned at Milam gym as more than 50 Soldiers from units across Fort Bliss, members of the ASYMCA, the Junior Enlisted Family Center and the Fort Bliss Officer Wives Association assembled the collected food into paper bags.

Beth Brown, the Fort Bliss Junior Enlisted Family Center coordinator, said the food drive will fill 1370 baskets this year, which were handed out to junior enlisted Soldiers and their families.

Brown said that last year 1021 food baskets were handed out.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16