News: American Legion gives soldiers star treatment
Story by Staff Sgt. Casey McGeorge
FORT BLISS, Texas -- Approximately 170 Army Reserve soldiers assigned to the Mobilization and Deployment Directorate here at Fort Bliss were given a star studded Thanksgiving dinner, Nov. 24.
The Horizon City American Legion Post #598 hosted the 305th Military Police Company, 800th MP Brigade, 200th MP Command, based out of West Virginia.
The soldiers were escorted by Fire department and police escorts, as well as a motorcycle motorcade provided by Post # 598.
“We just wanted to make sure that these soldiers had people to be with and a good meal to eat on Thanksgiving,” said Judy Burrows, auxiliary unit president of Post # 598.
Dan Wood Sr., post commander for # 598 echoed the sentiment.
“We have been there before; away from home on the holidays,” said Wood. “To have someone there to treat you like family makes you feel that much better. This gives us a chance to let the troops know that they are not forgotten.”
Members and volunteers spent all morning making the special meal for the 305th. Children from Paso Del Norte Elementary School made special place mats and banners greeting the soldiers as they came in, as well as members of a local Girl Scout troop providing the deserts and centerpieces.
Command Sgt. Maj. Michael D. Shultz, command sergeant major of the Army Reserve, also greeted and celebrated with the members of the 305th.
“This really shows how patriotic El Paso and the American Legion are,” said Shultz. “The El Paso community is supportive to the military and the reserves. My hats are off to them.”
Among those enjoying the meal that day was Pfc. Raymond Emminger, an MP with the 305th, who was away from his family during the holidays for the first time.
“It makes me proud to know someone appreciates what we do,” said Emminger. “ I’m actually kind of speechless.”
Also celebrating the holidays away from home for the first time was Pfc. Elizabeth Duskey.
“It can be hard being away from home during a time like this,” said Duskey, also an MP. “Having all these people take the time to put this on for us makes it a lot easier.”
Duskey also appreciated seeing the command sergeant major of the Army Reserve celebrating with them.
“Knowing that he is willing to go through the same things that we are makes you know and understand that you really are part of a team,” said Duskey.
The appreciation for what the 305th received that day was not lost on just its junior soldiers. The feelings of gratitude went all the way up the chain of command.
“Seeing this is absolutely outstanding and makes me proud to serve,” said Capt. Trent Gallagher, commander of the 305th. “Seeing the Command Sgt. Maj. Shultz away from his family during the holidays is awesome.”
“On behalf of everyone in the 305th, I would like to say from the bottom of our hearts, thank you,” continued Gallagher. “We appreciate this more than you can ever know.”