Instead, they decided to change someone's life.
After 10 years of war, many would say that Soldiers must be exhausted from combat operations, but the Soldiers of 2nd Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division here have found a new enemy to engage…hunger. Several Lancer Soldiers spent Saturday Oct. 22, 2011 fighting a different kind of war by volunteering their personal time to help combat this foe with the Puyallup Food bank.
"I came to help out the community that helps us," said Spc. Troy Dobberpuhl, a human intelligence analyst with 2nd brigade. "You know, help out people who are less fortunate than us."
That is exactly what Dobberpuhl and other Lancer volunteers did.
The Puyallup Food Bank, through volunteers and generous donations, has been able to feed struggling families approximately 12 meals a month for more than 30 years. They also assume responsibility for seven surrounding zip codes, and in the city of Puyallup alone, they manage to feed more than 700 families a month.
"Everything is funded through donations and volunteers, said Shanna Peterson, the director of operations for the Puyallup Food Bank. "We are a huge family of volunteers; our volunteers are all dedicated to our cause."
With more than 700 families avoiding hunger every month, the Lancer volunteers have joined a long list of contributors, and they are proud.
"You should feel good about helping people who are less fortunate," said Dobberpuhl. "I think we got a lot accomplished, we had a really good turn-out."
However, the spirit of volunteerism alone is not enough to keep the Puyallup Food Bank in business. They also depend on the support and generosity of the community.
"We raised more than 90 thousand pounds of food at this year's Puyallup Fair opening weekend," said Peterson.
Unfortunately, food donations are not always enough.
"There are things we can't except from the general public such as dairy products, meat products, stuff like that," said Peterson. "Money and gift cards give us purchase power."
The food bank holds more purchase power than any one person.
"$2.00 can feed a family of four," said Peterson. "Besides peanut butter, money is probably are number one need."
"Peanut butter is full of protein and every kid knows how to open a jar of peanut butter if their parents aren't doing the right thing," said Peterson.
With only $2, families across the greater Puyallup area are saved from hunger, and it is because of Lancer Soldiers like Dobberpuhl that this is made possible.
"I mean $2 can keep someone from going hungry," said Dobberpuhl. "What's $2? Is there any better way to spend it?"
That is a personal choice, but for the Dobberpuhl and his fellow Lancers, they can rest assured that their hard work did not go unappreciated.
"You guys were great," said Peterson as she addressed the Lancer volunteers as they prepared to go home and be with their families for the evening.
10 years of fighting terrorism abroad can be tiring, but for the Soldiers of the Lancer brigade, that is no excuse to let the idea of hunger terrorize American families.