FORT CARSON, Colo.---Soldiers from 4th Infantry Division have been pitching in to help those less fortunate in the local community.

The Soldiers, from Company G, 1st Battalion, 67th Armor Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 4th Inf. Div., have been volunteering their time since February at the Marian House Soup Kitchen in Colorado Springs to give back to the local community.

"I think we should do what we can to help out people the economy has hit the hardest," said Spc. Joshua Butler, an armor crewman, who volunteered on two different occasions.

There is a misconception that most of the people that come to the soup kitchen are homeless, but more than 50 percent of them are working-poor, said Paul Konecny, the director of the soup kitchen.

"When I use that term I\'m referring to families trying to make ends meet," he said.

The Soldiers report at about 7 a.m. to help other volunteers, mostly from church organizations, prepare meals and ready the facility. On their most recent visit they made vegetable beef soup, Sloppy Joes, fruit salad, an egg dish and gingerbread cookies. On a typical day, the soup kitchen needs 40-50 volunteers to serve 600-700 meals, Konecny said. The volunteers serve lunch Mondays-Saturdays and lunch on Sundays. Konecny noted that Soldiers are his best "workers."

"Everyone loves having them here," he said. "They are a good influence to the other volunteers."

Some volunteers for the soup kitchen have been coming in for years. Retired Sgt. Maj. Joseph A. Madril Jr. has volunteered his time every Monday since February 1998. He volunteers to give back.

"I enjoy the camaraderie," he said, "the same thing you have in the military."

Konecny agreed with Madril.

"We have become a family ourselves with all the volunteers and with a lot of the guests that come through," said Konecny.

But, it's not just about the camaraderie; it's also about helping people out and doing the right thing, Butler said.

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