By Nathan Pfau, Army Flier Staff WriterNovember 21, 2013
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (November 21, 2013) -- Soldiers and their Families are put through a lot, whether it be deployments or constantly moving from place to place, but Corvias Military Living made sure to show how much they appreciate their residents for what they've sacrificed.
Corvias held its Resident Appreciation Dinner Nov. 15 at The Landing where a Thanksgiving-style dinner was served and raffles were held for Families living in Fort Rucker housing areas as a way to thank the more than 700 people who attended, said Matthew Roe, communication's specialist for Corvias Military Living.
"This is just an opportunity for us to bring our residents together to say thank you for what they do," he said. "We try to have resident activities regularly throughout the year (to show our appreciation), and this is just another thing we could do for them."
The Families were treated to a buffet-style turkey dinner that included mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing and all the trimmings, and were even able to get their hands on some pumpkin pie or brownies for dessert.
"I thought this was just awesome," said Shaylen Gnau, who enjoyed the dinner with her husband, W01 Steven Gnau, B Company, 1st Battalion, 145th Aviation Regiment, and three children, Kylie, Taylor and Caden. "I really enjoyed it and I thought it was set up really well. It makes me feel extremely appreciated, very welcome and taken care of."
"This is better than most military communities we've been to," added Steven. "They actually give back (to the Families) here, and that was nice to see. It was a welcome change."
As Families poured in, some were greeted by members of Fort Rucker's command team and their Families, including Maj. Gen. Kevin W. Mangum, U.S. Army Aviation Center of Excellence and Fort Rucker commanding general, and Command Sgt. Maj. James H. Thomson Jr., Aviation Branch command sergeant major.
They were also greeted by a handful of gift baskets, which each person had a chance to win that contained everyday amenities for the home. The gift baskets were raffled off along with ham and turkey vouchers for the commissary to help people get started on their holiday meals.
The gift baskets, provided by the Wiregrass Retired and Senior Volunteer Program, were just another way to show appreciation for the sacrifice that military Families make every day, said Lavonne Stromenger, Geneva County coordinator of volunteer services for the Wiregrass RSVP.
"I've been doing this job for about 13 years … and it was just very important for us to do something for our troops."
Stromenger, who comes from a military Family, had heard about the appreciation dinner and wanted to take the opportunity to show her thanks.
"We just love our troops and we just wanted to be able to do something for them," she added. "We were very excited to do this."
Roe said that getting multiple organizations involved only improved the experience they were able to provide for the Families they serve.
"The general sacrifice that military Families go through is paramount to everything, and for everything that those Families go through, it's important to stop and recognize what they do," said Roe. "We want to be the best housing provider that we can, and we provide the best customer service we can because we care about the Soldiers and Families that we help."