By Tim Cherry, Belvoir EagleNovember 23, 2011
Soldiers from the Headquarters Battalion volunteered some of their time to help Woodlawn Chapel's annual Thanksgiving Food Basket Program, Friday.
The program is designed to help lower enlisted ranked Families enjoy the holiday season.
Servicemembers unloaded approximately six tons of food that was packaged into 500 care baskets and delivered to active-duty Families-i- need around post Saturday.
The servicemembers were joined by civilians to provide $25,000 worth of meals.
Participating Soldiers said the event shows what the Army is all about.
"It's good to give back to the community," said Spc. Tim Pierce Headquarters Battalion Special Activities infantry men.
Pierce is one of many Headquarters Battalion Soldiers who volunteer their time to help the Belvoir and civilian communities.
He enjoys giving a helping hand to good causes and he only wishes that the food basket program could help even more people celebrate Thanksgiving.
"Too bad it couldn't be for more people, but I'm sure this is going on throughout the country and Army," Pierce said.
Woodlawn's Thanksgiving Food Basket program started in 1986. Retired Lt. Col. Jerry Moran
succeeded the events original organizers in the 1990's and still holds the position.
He said the program typically receives approximately 250 volunteers, who operate in an assembly line fashion to distribute the food to Families.
Moran said it takes about 2 hours to prepare the boxes, which are delivered by units and volunteers.
Moran said Families are ecstatic and sometimes surprised to be receiving assistance during the holiday season.
Their reactions are his favorite part of the program.
"It's very gratifying," said Moran who said the current economic climate makes it hard for Families to support themselves. "These are hard times for everybody."
1st Sgt. Bradley Scott, Headquarters Battalion Command Sergeant Major said the battalion didn't hesitate to step-up and assist in the cause.
He said the Soldiers are always willing to give their time to help those in need.
"They all like to come out and do their part," Scott said.
Scott is very thankful he and fellow servicemembers are able to spend this Thanksgiving at home because not every Soldier will have that opportunity.
"In the Military it's a blessing to be home on Thanksgiving," Scott said. "And, when you can be home, it's a good thing to give back."
Many of the Families who received care baskets were households with deployed Soldiers. Scott said volunteer effort shows that the Army takes cares of each other.
"It's about Family and friends and taking care of people," Scott said of Thanksgiving. "Being thankful for what you have and I've been blessed with my Family and living in the country."