Soldiers pack pounds for homeless veterans
December 15, 2009
FORT SAM HOUSTON, Texas (Dec. 10, 2009) -- Some Soldiers were out running in the pre-dawn of Dec. 2 with extra weight on their backs.
No, they hadn't "gained" additional pounds. Each was carrying a ruck sack with about 25 pounds of nonperishable food or personal hygiene items they brought to donate to homeless veterans.
Twenty-one Soldiers of Army South and the 470th Military Intelligence (MI) Brigade ran the five kilometer course. Others helped set up and monitor the event and pack up the items after the runners emptied their sacks of their contents.
Staff Sgt. Cory Lovejoy, of U.S. Army South G2 (Intelligence), said he was taking the items to the Residential Center for Veterans, a shelter for homeless veterans run by the American GI Forum and located just west of downtown San Antonio. One of a few of its kind in the country run by veterans for veterans, the center identifies homeless veterans, provides them with health assessments and helps them find support services and employment.
"There is really no significance or symbolism for carrying the food on our back other than the fact that it was a Soldier event and that's what we do when we ruck," said Lovejoy.
Sgt. 1st Class Kelly Mitchell, of the 401st MI Company, who couldn't run because he is currently on a medical profile, said, "I supported the event by manning the turn-around point and cheering the Soldiers on."
(The Soldiers plan a similar event for Dec. 16.)