News: Stryker soldiers give back to their community
Story by Sgt. Michael Blalack
FORT WEINWRIGHT, Alaska - Soldiers from the Brigade Troops Battalion of the 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division delivered donated food to the Fairbanks Community Food Bank on Nov 14.
The battalion collected donations of canned food and other non perishables beginning Oct 1.
Soldiers from across the battalion volunteered to load, transport, and unload the 6,570 pounds of cans, boxes, and bags that had been collected from the 73rd Engineer Company, the 184th Military Intelligence Company, the 176th Signal Company, D/52nd Anti Tank Company and the Brigade Headquarters Company.
“We set an initial goal of 5,000 cans,” BTB Commander Lt. Col Mick Braun said, “and the soldiers took that and ran with it and today we’re turning in over 9,000 cans.”
The soldiers of the 1-25th SBCT have been quick to give at every opportunity.
In addition to the canned food drive the Arctic Wolves were given the opportunity to give to the Combined Federal Campaign, the largest annual workplace charity campaign in the world, with donations from the BTB reaching more than $37,000.
“It brings me joy to see everyone participating in battalion events and giving to those in our community” said Command Sgt. Maj. Sherwood Gatts, senior noncommissioned officer for the BTB and primary force behind the food drive. “Acts like these are what makes the nation we defend so wonderful.”
“This will be one of the largest donations that’s ever been given for our Thanksgiving event,” Samantha Kirstein, executive director of the food bank said.
The Fairbanks community has been very supportive of the Soldiers stationed at Fort Wainwright and doing what they can to help feed those in need in the community is one way the Arctic Wolves can give back to a community that has shown such unwavering support, according to Braun.
“This community really does go above and beyond to support and take care of us,” Braun said. “And it shows with all of the people that get out of the military and retire here because the community is so great and so supportive.”
“People here thank us every day for our service,” said Sgt. First Class Melanie Carrasco, 1st Sgt. of the 184th Military Intelligence Company. “And this is a way to say thank you back; thank you for letting us come in and be a part of your community.”
The food bank director said the military is an important partner in her organization’s efforts.
“We couldn’t do everything we do without support from the military,” Kirstein said. “We get food from the Commissary every week as well as Soldiers volunteering their time, there are some that show up to help at every event we do, and we really appreciate all the work that the Military does.”