Operation Snack Attack

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The Armed Services YMCA of Alaska knows there is nothing easy about deployments—and sometimes, even returning home has its own challenges. We exist to make military lifer easier, even when it is in small ways—because sometimes it’s the small things that are the most deeply appreciated.

The ASYMCA of Alaska implemented Operation Snack Attack to make sure that our service members who are called to duty both deploy and return to snacks, drinks, a smiling face, and warm wishes. The ASYMCA staff and our volunteers are often the last people the deploying members see before boarding their flight, and the first people they see upon their return. We are there to offer free snacks, drinks, and toiletries—and our presence helps to remind them how appreciated their service and sacrifices are.

For example , Private Thomas was going on his first deployment ever, since joining the Army. As he waited in the Joint Mobile Command (JMC) to board the flight, he was so excited to see the ASYMCA table full of snacks. He came over a little hesitant, asking how much everything cost. When the volunteers told him everything on the table was free, his eyes lit up, and he asked if he could take a few things to fill his bag with. He told the volunteers that he had approximately 20 hours of flight time ahead of him, before he would reach Afghanistan, so he knew he would need some snacks for the flight. He was also so happy to see some travel size toiletries because he had forgotten to pack a toothbrush. After waiting in the JMC terminal for 3 hours before finally boarding his plane, he left with a stomach full of snacks he that he had eaten during the wait, and stash in his bag for later. Before boarding his flight, he stopped by the table to thank the volunteers for being out there at two in the morning to support him and the other soldiers, and that being there to provide little things like snacks, toiletries, and a friendly smile helped to calm his nerves—making his departure just a bit easier.

The ASYMCA understands the importance and impact that a friendly smile, warm hand shake, and treats can have on a military member leaving for, or returning from, deployment can have. Like Thomas, over 8,000 service members departing or returning from theaters of war, were given the appreciation and support they deserve that helps make military life easier.

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The Armed Services Y provides free or low-cost youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility programs for junior enlisted military & their families to make military life easier.

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