Soldiers and families of A Company, 86th Expeditionary Signal Battalion, 1st Armored Division Artillery, 1st Armored Division, received an "all-american" meal as part of a communal sendoff luncheon put together by their command team and the All-American Beef Battalion Dec. 3 at the Hope Chapel here at Fort Bliss.

Everyone in attendance received a 16 oz. steak served with potatoes and sides as a sign of appreciation for their service and help build the morale of the company as they prepare for an upcoming deployment.

During the event, Soldiers went through their scheduled pre-deployment briefing and were served their steak lunch right after the briefing.

"They were pretty excited to see this much support and get a good taste of 'Americana' before heading out," said Maj. Spencer Calder, operations officer with 86th ESB.

The All-American Beef Battalion, a non-profit organization, is a group of individuals involved in the United States Beef Cattle Industry who organize and sponsor steak feeds, entertainment, programs, meetings and projects with servicemembers and their families, explained Bill Harmon, a cattleman volunteer.

"Our main purpose is to foster among the people of the United States an appreciation, respect, and honor for our military servicemembers whose sacrifices have and will continue to make our freedoms possible," said Harmon.

Not only did the event build the Soldiers' morale, it also portrayed the support they are receiving from outside sources.

"It's really amazing to see the generosity of the folks that are out here," said Calder. "It's really touching to see how much people care about our young men and women in service preparing to head out to defend the nation's interest abroad."

The All-American Beef Battalion volunteers expressed how glad they were to be able to serve the Soldiers.

"They are very appreciative about having a good meal," said Harmon. "In return for their service this is our way of showing how much we appreciate our troops."