FORT SILL, Okla. -- "The strength of our nation is our Army, the strength of our Army is our Soldiers, the strength of our Soldiers is our Families, this is what makes us Army Strong!" Gen. Raymond T. Odierno spoke these words shortly after he assumed the position of United States Army Chief of Staff and these words still hold true to this day.

On Aug. 28th 3rd Battalion, 2nd Air Defense Artillery Regiment along with its Family Readiness Group and Better Opportunity for Single Soldiers Representative held their first ever battalion meet and greet. The event brought together over 20 representatives from local universities, on-post resources and community groups.

The intent of the event was to welcome new Soldiers and their Families and give them an idea of some of the benefits and resources offered in the community," said Family Readiness Group Advisor Jennifer Dawber.
"It also gave us a chance to see some of the current Soldiers and their families we haven't seen since before the summer time frame."

One of the many booths there was the Fort Sill Thrift Shop; the Manager Jessica Marcillo was thrilled at the turn out for the event and was enthusiastic about getting word out to Soldiers regarding the Thrift Shop. "We are open to the public as well, but what many don't know is Soldiers with the rank of Spc. and below receive an automatic 25% discount, and this is extended to their family as well.
"We are there to help Soldiers, their Families and of course our veterans, in the last five years we have donated over $250,000 back to the community," said Marcillo.

Unit FRG meetings can tend to focus more on fundraising events, this event was geared more towards giving back. "We wanted to hold an event that gave back to the Soldiers and their families, something more than fundraising that allowed Soldiers and Families to get more involved in their community and raise awareness of resources available to them, said Dawber.