With spouses and children, SIOR NE had 18 attendees at our SIOR Service Day activity.
Joining the Veterans Support Group Pease Greeters, the SIOR NE welcomed back 170 troops who had served the past nine months in Afghanistan. From Pease Airport, they were headed back home to Fort Riley in Kansas.
SIOR NE donated $300 in pizza as well as a check to Pease Greeters for $1400. Additionally, Luke Pickett attended with our group and arranged a donation from Lindt Chocolate of 700 chocolate Easter bunnies to be given out this weekend.
We spent 45 minutes or so conversing one on one with the service people…. all Army and all part of the first infantry division known as “Big Red One”. Big Red One was the same infantry division that accompanied General “Blackjack” Pershing to France in 1917 at the outset of WW1 when they were known as the "Fighting First”. During WW2, they were the first to reach England and the first division to reach the Normandy beaches.
Since 2005, the Pease Greeters have volunteered their time to meet all flights carrying troops to/from foreign outposts that stop at Pease. The number of these flights is in the hundreds per year. Unpaid, the Pease Greeters provide food, coffee, conversation, chocolates, stuffed animals and various other gifts to the troops. They also send thousands of care packages abroad to troops each year. Many retired military personnel volunteer their time with the group and the closing ceremonies include recognition of those present who served in each war since WWII.
An official looking person let us know that we should not post any of our photos to the internet that include faces of the service persons. So our gallery shows the excitement the Greeters felt while waiting and while presenting the donations.
This will be one of our top considerations for Service Day 2018!