News: Event helps soldiers, families
Story by Staff Sgt. Matthew Winstead
JOINT BASE ELMENDORF-RICHARDSON, Alaska – About 110 soldiers and their families were able to take advantage of a program providing each recipient up to $100 worth of gift cards to be spent in the JBER Commissary Dec. 14.
The event was sponsored by Defense Commissary Agency vendors and other donors in the form of free gifts and even included a complimentary breakfast before the families and service members began their shopping.
The Commissary, normally open from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. opened its doors two hours early to allow people time to participate in the food assistance program.
“You wouldn’t believe how much it helps during this time of year. The families really appreciate this,” Staff Sgt. Terrace McNair, Operations non-commissioned officer in charge for the Soldiers’ Chapel, who coordinated the event, said.
Along with other chaplains and chaplain assistants, he handled the logistics to help make the event happen, according to Lt. Col. Kenneth Sorenson, chaplain.
A prize wheel was set up near the front doors, offering participants a chance to win a random gift provided by DeCA vendors.
Pfc. Katie Harwick, a chaplain assistant assigned to the rear detachment of the 4th Brigade (Airborne) Combat Team, 25th Infantry Division manned the prize wheel and provided Vanna White-style assistance to those who wanted to spin it.
“I’m having a great time doing this and I’m glad that I can help soldiers and their families this time of year.” Harwick said. “And yes, I do feel a little like Vanna.”