Nina Carey, coordinator for the Fort Bliss Armed Services YMCA Junior Enlisted Family Center, right, is accepts a check on behalf of the Junior Enlisted Family Center from the employees of the Sierra Providence Health Network for $4,101.63 during the annual Thanksgiving food basket giveaway at the Fort Bliss Trading Post Nov. 20. Photo by Staff Sgt. Casey J. McGeorge, 15th Sustainment Brigade Public Affairs.
Staff Sgt. Casey J. McGeorge,
15th Sustainment Brigade Public Affairs:
More than 1,400 Team Bliss families were given free Thanksgiving food baskets at the Fort Bliss Trading Post, Nov. 20.
Soldiers and families were able to receive turkeys, canned food items, stuffing and other things to help them have a full Thanksgiving meal this year. The items were received through donations, according to Nina Carey, coordinator for the Fort Bliss Armed Services YMCA Junior Enlisted Family Center.
“The installation chaplain was a big help,” said Carey. “We also had many local and regional organizations who donated items or money.”
In fact, more than 20 organizations and companies in the El Paso area donated, according to Jose Melendez, executive director of the El Paso Armed Services YMCA.
“The YMCA has been donating every year for Thanksgiving for the last 15 years,” said Melendez. “As Fort Bliss has continued to grow, so has the program. … We at the YMCA feel this is our most important event of the year for us. To see the looks on the families’ faces and the smiles, that’s absolutely priceless. This is what we are here for.”
Some of those smiles came from the Webb family. Spc. Christopher Webb, a combat medic with 1st Battalion, 77th Armored Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Armored Division, came to the Trading post with his wife, Kerri, and his children, Kailey, 5, Kendra, 2, and Gavin, 1.
“This feels great,” said Christopher. “I will be bringing two or three of the single Soldiers from the barracks home for Thanksgiving dinner, so this will help out a lot.”
His wife agreed.
“This will be my first time cooking a dinner for this many people,” said Kerri. “But I am really excited about making it.”
With the holiday season upon us, many have a lot to be thankful for, but we should be most thankful for the men and women in uniform who help protect this country, said Mike DiBenedetto, chairman of the El Paso Armed Services YMCA.
“Most Americans don’t realize the sacrifice the armed services and their families have to endure,” said DiBenedetto. “Time and holidays away from home don’t come easy. I didn’t have a lot of exposure to the military prior to coming here to El Paso.
“Our mission is to help the junior enlisted Soldiers and their families,” continued DiBenedetto. “From the bottoms of our heart, we want to tell everyone: Thank you for making our Army the best Army in the world.”
Be Involved with Thanksgiving Food Baskets for 1,000+
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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