The week before Thanksgiving, Washington’s Joint Base Lewis-McChord hosted their annual Turkey Drop. It’s very similar to the Ham Grenade, which happens around Christmas.
What is the Turkey Drop?
Operation “Turkey Drop” provides military families on base that are not financially solvent at the time all the things they need to have a traditional Thanksgiving dinner.
AUSA (Association of the United States Army) puts together the annual fundraiser, and picks up local businesses to help sponsor at different levels to donate the food. This year, 1,480 turkeys were dropped to deserving families. On December 12th, an additional 1,480 hams are set to be delivered for Christmas.
Obviously, the holidays are a sacred time to many families. It’s a time that reminds all of us about the things that truly matter in our lives; more than anything, it’s a time to celebrate our loved ones.
However, military families have a special understanding of the significance of time with loved ones. Long separations are too often a part of their service, and they know how valuable it is just to share a meal together.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of families whose service members will still be deployed during this holiday season.
There are 13,000 troops in Afghanistan . . .
44,500 in Japan; 34,300 in Germany; 28,000 in South Korea; 8,300 in the UK; 5,200 in Iraq; 2,000 in Syria and 3,100 on the Horn of Africa. There are over 20,000 National Guardsmen serving alongside active duty soldiers. And on the seas, more than 100,000 sailors and Marines are away this Thanksgiving and Christmas.
“When overseas, we do a pretty good job as a Country getting our military holiday meals, but they’re still not with their families,” said Ken Marsh, president of Valor Worldwide (parent company to OurMilitary.com). “They’re thousands of miles away, and everybody wants to be home on the holidays.”
Need a place to go for Thanksgiving?
If stationed at JBLM, The DFAC (Dining Facility) is open for free Thanksgiving dinner for single soldiers living in barracks. For families of deployed soldiers, please contact your unit’s FRG (Family Readiness Group) about what they’re hosting for the holiday. Veterans, check your local VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) and AL (American Legion) posts — most of them offer a free Thanksgiving as well.
Millions of American civilians are able to celebrate the holidays with their families because of the selfless service and sacrifice of our military personnel. Happy Thanksgiving, military families! We are incredibly thankful for you.
Editor’s Note: Valor Worldwide (the parent company to OurMilitary.com) is a proud, and long-time supporter of the Turkey Drop on JBLM.
“Many U.S. Troops Serving Overseas During the Holidays.” U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, dod.defense.gov/News/Article/Article/1400364/.