Story by: Sgt. 1st Class Gary Cooper
Ministry teams from all across post teamed up with several local groups at the Spirit of Fort Hood Chapel to hand out food baskets to Soldiers, Wednesday, Nov. 17. At least 580 turkeys as well as traditional side dishes were distributed to families of Soldiers for Thanksgiving Dinner.
The local groups included the Central Texas Food Bank, the Onion Creek Community (in Southern Austin), both the Warrior Way and Clear Creek Commissaries, and HEB. Many of the participants were retired veterans. McAllister’s provided lunch for those working the event.
On the military side, six of these participants were from the 1st Cavalry Division Sustainment Brigade Ministry Team, including Maj. Kenneth Gillespie, 1CDSB Chaplain, Staff Sgt. Brittany Troha, 1CDSB Unit Ministry Team NCOIC, 1st Lt. Seth Porter, Special Troops Battalion Chaplain, Spc. Karina Francis, STB Religious Affairs Specialist, 1st Lt. Nicholas Ohene-Asamoah, 553d Division Sustainment Support Battalion Chaplain, and Pvt. 1st Class Enetisia Felix, 553d DSSB Religious Affairs Specialist.
“It was a really good experience. This is one of my favorite things about my Military Occupational Specialty, being able to give back to the community and making an impact on Soldiers’ lives,“ said Staff Sgt. Troha. “I love my job because of things like this that I get to do, to see that we’re impacting not only Soldiers, but also their families.”
While the event was open to all Soldiers, commanders and other leadership tried to identify those who would most benefit.
“We went down into the units, to try to find families who needed it the most, to just share some love with them through a Thanksgiving meal through turkey and food, said III Corps Deputy Command Chaplain, Lt. Col. William “Billy” Graham. “This whole operation was to give to these Soldiers, especially considering the price of food these days. What a great way for some of our Soldiers in need to enjoy a great meal that they might not otherwise be able to afford.“
Graham said he could relate to these families from personal experience. “When I was first married, my wife and I couldn’t afford a Thanksgiving meal either,” Graham said. “Somehow my wife was able to scrounge up a chicken, and that was how we celebrated our first Thanksgiving.”
That the groups donating turkeys and other food included many veterans was something Troha said she appreciated.
“I think it’s very impactful to see people who paved the way for us to wear this uniform giving back to the community,” said Troha. “I know one day I’ll be a veteran. It motivates me to want to do better by veterans as well as to generations to come.”