FORT KNOX, Ky. - Holidays bring to mind a number of visuals: lights strewn across the Christmas tree, landscapes covered in white and mistletoe hanging from doorways. For 32 children from the Sunrise Children's Home and Crossroads Boy's Home, part of their Christmas came early Wednesday with the sight of camouflage patterns worn by Soldiers from Fort Knox.

The 3rd Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) command's goal of giving gifts to 20 girls and 12 boys, using an angel tree, was reached with the help of 3rd ESC, 233rd Transportation Company and United States Army Recruiting Command Soldiers. Two of the units were deployed to Iraq last year and are using their first Christmas home from Iraq to reach out to others.

Master Sgt. Lerissa D. Wilson, the master chaplain assistant for the 3rd ESC, had previously donated to the homes during Christmas last year when she was assigned to the recruiting command on Fort Knox.

"I wanted to keep the legacy going," Wilson, a Lynchburg, Va., native, said. "It's our way of sending back our support to the community."

"So many people wanted to help," Wilson said. "The entire unit has really come forward. I've had people in my office in the last two weeks giving candy, cookies, gifts and donating money."

In addition to receiving at least one gift each, the kids ranging from 13 to 17 years of age, had a pizza party, were given stockings filled with treats and got a visit from joyful Santa himself. Even though the visit was meant to give holiday cheer to teenagers, some of the kids left with more than their gifts.

"I think the best thing was mingling with the military people and understanding what the military is about," said Jose, a 16-year-old living at the Crossroads Boy's Home. "There (are) people out there (that) fight for us to make sure we maintain our freedom so we can enjoy Christmas like other people can't."

"It makes us feel really good when people come to see us," said Savannah, a 12-year-old with the Sunrise Children's Home.

Col. Robin B. Akin, commanding general of the 3rd ESC, had Soldiers, including warrant officers, officers and enlisted, introduce themselves to the teens. Soldiers around the room talked to the teens about who they were, where they were from, how long they had been serving in the military and what their jobs were.

Akin addressed the room saying, "Most importantly my team wanted to give you guys a little bit of holiday spirit. Many of us in the uniform were deployed last year in Iraq and we really wanted to be here in the United States and involved with activities just like this one."

Story and photos by Spc. Amanda Tucker, 3d Sustainment Command (Expeditionary) public affairs.
For queries, contact 3d Sustainment Command Public Affairs at: (502) 624-8601.
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Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16