ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL, Ill. -- While it doesn't seem much like the holiday season with unseasonably warm temperatures, it is sneaking up on the Midwest. There may not be snow here, but that doesn't mean it isn't the season of reflection and great cheer.

The warmth that is spread from each person as they anticipate the holiday season and what it means to them is being shared with those around them. Even with the stress of purchasing gifts for loved ones, travel preparation, or writing a grocery list, this is one of the most treasured times of the year. It is during this special time that people recall what matters most to them.

For many Army Sustainment Command personnel, it comes down to health, visiting special places, or spending time with loved ones.

For Lisa Schuldt, the lead organizational development and training specialist for Operations, what matters most this holiday season is the good health and safety of her family.

"Our plan is just to relax and have fun with family and friends," said Schuldt.

Others on RIA are thankful for a healthy family for a slightly different reason.

Courtney Maxon, a contractor for the historian's office, is thankful for her wonderful husband, healthy daughter, and a healthy baby on the way.

"I'm spending the holidays with family; there will be a big celebration on my husband's side and a smaller one on mine," said Maxon
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Other people are anticipating good travelling weather for the holidays.

"I don't have any special plans, just to spend the night in Chicago. My family normally spends it in Maryland," said Tim Fore, deputy of Operations/Strategic Plans/Plans and Exercises.

Fore said he is most thankful for the people with whom he works because they are the success of the command.

For Tom Kenyon, chief of Requirements Integration Division, plans include travelling to the Minneapolis area to spend the holidays with his in-laws.

"I'm thankful for my family," said Kenyon.

Other RIA personnel, however, will be travelling to slightly more exotic places than the Midwest.
Adelle Ponce, a program analyst, is thankful for her family, friends, her dogs, and the great weather.

"I am planning a mini-vacation to an indoor water park as well as having family over for the holidays," said Ponce.

Some ASC personnel, such as Kimberly Gordon, a financial management specialist, are planning on celebrating by visiting family in another state.

"I recently re-deployed so I'm thankful for everyday things like liberties. I'm going home to Georgia for the holidays," said Gordon.

"I'm thankful for the job I have, a loving family, and a decent place to live," said Andy Applegate, a facility engineer contractor.

Applegate said he is planning on celebrating by going home to see his family in Clearwater, Fla.
Another ASC employee making a trip to Florida for the holidays is Brad Hixon, the acting inspector general.

"I'm thankful for my family; that they are healthy. I'm going to Orlando, Florida, and the Gulf Coast over New Year's," said Hixon.

For Sgt. 1st Class, Harold Robinson, a logistics noncommissioned officer, the holiday season is a time to be with children who live elsewhere.

"I'm thankful to be alive. I'm going to visit the kids in North Carolina," said Robinson.

And there are others who are simply thankful for their family.

Col. Scott Lofreddo, chief of staff, said that he and his wife are blessed to have such great kids that have achieved their goals and are looking forward to having them home for the holidays.

"I'll see the children and share basically a quiet family holiday season with them. I like it because it brings me back to being a child. I think that's part of the wonder of the holiday season as well; you make it innocent instead of so overbearing," said Lofreddo.

"When it starts snowing at the end of A Christmas Story; when they are just sitting there in the dark looking out, that to me is a great holiday; either memory or something you look forward to," said Lofreddo.

The movie, A Christmas Story, is about a boy whose wish for Christmas is a Red Ryder BB gun and goes through several trials in his attempts to convince his parents to buy it for him. The theme of this movie deals with remembering to enjoy the simplicity of the holiday season instead of worrying about what presents are under the tree.

Regarding simplicity, focusing on quality time with family for the holidays is also important to many within ASC.

For George Eaton, historian, staying home with family is something to be grateful for.

"I'm thankful for having the whole family together," said Eaton.

Also staying local with family for the holidays is Staff Sgt. Matt Favory.

"I'm thankful for my family, specifically, all four kids," said Favory.

While some ASC personnel have family locally coming to visit, others have family from out of town visiting. Such is the case for Maj. Tayonia Williams, a financial management officer.

"I'm thankful for spending time with my family and for the troops who are serving abroad and I pray for their safe return," said Williams.

For Theresa Thoren, a program analyst, the holidays are a time to relax and have fun.

"I am thankful for spending time with family and friends, and the annual Christmas party. I am having family and friends over to eat and be merry," said Thoren.

Some ASC personnel, such as Master Sgt. Danny Morales, assistant inspector general, are focusing on grandchildren.

For Morales, travel plans to see his granddaughters have not been finalized.

"I'm thankful for two granddaughters and their fathers for taking care of them and that I'm alive to witness that. I don't have any plans yet; I might go to see my granddaughters again in North Carolina or home in Puerto Rico," said Morales.

For a few personnel, the holiday season will be celebrated with the focus on family fun while recovering from surgery.

"I'm thankful for my family; they are my whole life. My plans for the holidays include having hip-replacement surgery as well as a lot of activity because we're having 35 people over for Christmas, including 25 pounds of mashed potatoes, three turkeys, and going to church on Christmas Eve," said Robert Matthys, associate director for the Office of Small Business Programs.

Others will also remember those who have served to protect this country's freedoms.

"I'm really thankful for my family, friends, job security, and my freedom that is protected by our wonderful Soldiers -- freedom to celebrate in our own unique way. This holiday season my family is very excited right now, because Hannukah started on December 8. We spend lots of time together as a family and reflect on what this celebration of dedication means to us," said Nancy Adolphi, lead organizational development and training specialist for Operations.

Page last updated Thu December 13th, 2012 at 00:00