Volunteers bring holiday cheer to Airmen

  • Published
  • By A1C Sara Hoerichs
  • 62 AW PA

Not everyone can go home for the holidays but that doesn’t mean anyone has to miss out on holiday festivities. Operation Turkey Drop, Operation Cookie Drop and Operation Ham Grenade are among several seasonal initiatives Joint Base Lewis-McChord conducts to spread Yuletide spirit. 
The season recently kicked off with Operation Turkey Drop with members of the Air Force Association, McChord Field Chapter and the Pierce Military and Business Alliance distributing more than 250 turkeys in time for Thanksgiving dinner to units on McChord Field. A similar Operation Turkey Drop was conducted at Army units earlier in the month. 
“Some recipients said they didn’t know what they were going to do around the holidays and a turkey made a big difference in their lives,” said George Cargill, PMBA vice president, who has been involved in Operation Turkey Drop for 10 years. 
For those Airmen looking for a sweeter treat, Operation Cookie Drop provides homemade cookies to Team McChord’s junior Airmen in early December. Volunteers bake and donate cookies that the McChord Field First Sergeant’s Council distribute to every Airman living in the dorms. The First Sergeant’s Council estimate they will deliver more than 500 dozen cookies to dorm residents this year.
“Even though some of our Airmen may not be able to go back home, we hope this little gesture will bring them holiday cheer and remind them they are a part of a larger family, the Air Force family,” said Donna Schultz, wife of Command Chief Master Sgt. Rob Schultz.
In mid-December, the AFA and PMBA will return for Operation Ham Grenade, donating hundreds of hams for holiday dinners.
“It’s one of our signature events each year to provide turkeys for the November holidays and hams during the December holidays to our men and women in uniform,” said Mark Minickiello, AFA secretary. “It’s our way of supporting our Airmen, thanking everyone for their service and wishing them happy holidays.”
Whether traveling home or staying local, every Airman can get a little bit of holiday cheer this season.
For more information on how to donate cookies for Operation Cookie Drop, contact Donna Schultz at (210) 414-8209.