Food drive displays sacrifice, selflessness
November 17, 2011
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (November 17, 2011) -- In light of the tough economic times, members of B Company, 1st Battalion, 145th Aviation Regiment, sought to provide food for those who might otherwise go hungry with their first-ever food drive.
The drive ended Nov. 9 with the donation of 4,246 pounds of nonperishable food items to the Wiregrass Area United Way Food Bank, said CW3 Joe Morano, who headed up the drive that started a few months ago.
"We did it because there are a lot of people hurting right now and we need to show our support to the local community," said Morano.
According to Morano, 1-145th originally intended to donate to the Fort Rucker Food Bank, but was told its donation would overwhelm the bank.
"The installation food bank was on target as far as their food needs," said Maj. Jason James, company commander, explaining that the company turned to the Wiregrass Area Food Bank after collecting the thousands of items after Morano suggested the organization. "It's been a Bravo Company mission, but Mr. Morano has really spearheaded it."
Students from the Warrant Officer Career College formed an assembly line and helped load up a delivery truck from the food bank, where they also met with Julie Gonzalez, Wiregrass Area Food Bank special projects coordinator. Gonzalez was surprised at the volume of donations, and initially thought against bringing the delivery truck. By the time the assembly line finished, the food bank truck had run out of boxes and pallets to transport the food.
"The Wiregrass Area United Way Food Bank is very fortunate to do business in an area surrounded by so many men and women who are dedicated to the service of others. Not only have these Soldiers dedicated their lives and the lives of their Families to the service of their country, but they have also reached out to help those who are less fortunate in the surrounding community. We appreciate their service, their sacrifice, and their support. We thank them on behalf of all of the Families who will receive their support in the form of Thanksgiving meals," said Gonzalez.
"Because [Soldiers] have chosen to wear this uniform, I think we choose to absorb more of the world's problems than other people out of selflessness. The students have to learn selflessness and sacrifice now," said Morano.
James explained that the food drive is one of many initiatives by the company to help their fellow Soldiers in addition to the surrounding community.
"This is the first food drive we've done. We're continually working at new efforts. Students are a naturally good selection for these projects, because they're available and their schedules don't interfere with extra work. We're trying to give back to community," he said.
While the donation was over two tons, Gonzalez explained to the Soldiers loading the food that much of it would be gone within as little as a week, because many charitable organizations will collect the items for their Thanksgiving meals. With that need in mind, Gonzalez was glad to have such large donations come from Fort Rucker before the holiday season.
"The Food Bank was recently chosen by several classes of Soldiers at Fort Rucker as the beneficiary of their community service projects. These men and women have dedicated their lives and the lives of their Families to the service of our great country and are also having a large impact on the quality of life of their surrounding community," she said.