The holiday season is a time that many of us take for granted. We’re able to spend the holidays surrounded by our friends and loved ones, laughing and telling stories as we exchange gifts and enjoy a special meal.
But for many of the brave men and women who currently serve in the military, spending the holidays with friends and family isn’t always an option.
As we sleep soundly, they are tasked with protecting our country. They are stationed on bases, ships and submarines around the globe, often hundreds or thousands of miles away from their loved ones. Their job is a dangerous one, and we wanted to make sure their sacrifices have not gone unnoticed this year.
Continuing with a tradition that began in 2015, Colonial held our annual Holiday for the Troops drive. Once again, we were blown away by the support of our employees as they donated hundreds of items including holiday cards, cookies, chips, candy, toiletries, movies, games and so much more.
This year, items donated were given to the men and women of the Naval Air Station Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base’s Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 112, or VMFA – 112. This group of brave men and women – nicknamed the Cowboys – are part of the United States Marine Corps F/A -18 Hornet squadron and is tasked with both maintaining and flying these aircraft for military use.The idea to donate to this squadron came from Samantha Koppang, Servicing Administrator, whose husband previously served with the VMFA – 112.
“It can be hard being away from family and friends during the holiday season, so being able to reach out and give gifts to these men and women means the world,” said Koppang. “I think that it’s so important to remind them that they are appreciated and that their sacrifice doesn’t go unnoticed. This unit, in particular, is close to my heart, so it meant even more to be able to give these gifts and remind them that their community was thinking about them during the holiday season.”
Koppang was in contact with Staff Sergeant Scott Kupres, who escorted her on base along with Colonial’s Diversity and Inclusion Steering Committee (D&I) members Marlon Walker, Mail Center Supervisor and Graham Ashley, Public Relations & Content Manager.
While on base, the three presented the donated gifts along with some Colonial swag to the VMFA – 112, who were very appreciative to receive these gifts just in time for Christmas.
“It made me very happy to see people bring gifts to the Marines,” Said Kupres. “I think of them as family, especially the new Marines. They still miss being back at home. They work very hard and they do it because they believe in something bigger than themselves. Seeing that the people are behind them and care enough about them to send gifts was a true blessing.”After the gifts were presented, Ashley, Koppang and Walker were taken on a special tour of the hangar where the Marines repair and maintain their aircraft.
“It can be pretty easy to get caught up in our own lives, so being able to see first-hand the impact Colonial’s donations have on these men and women was certainly a rewarding and unique experience,” said Ashley. “It was also really great to see the kind of work these men and women do every day as they serve our country.”
We would like to extend a special thank you to Staff Sergeant Kupres for being such a great contact and host throughout the entire process.
Thank you to all of our employees who donated items to benefit these Marines. It’s truly amazing to see our employees join together for such a worthwhile cause. We look forward to next year where we hope it will be even bigger and better! Oorah!