'We're so thankful': Fort Bragg troop support program gifts 500 soldiers with Thanksgiving meals ahead of holiday

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FORT BRAGG, N.C. (WTVD) -- The country's largest military installation officially got into the holiday spirit with its Christmas tree arriving at the Main Post Parade field just a few days ago.

Just inside the All American Chapel, junior enlisted soldiers spent Friday receiving holiday meals.

"With Christmas coming and Thanksgiving on top of it all, we're money strained for Christmas. It is nice to be able to say okay we may need it now for Thanksgiving or we could save it for Christmas," said military spouse Julie Kuhn.

Kuhn and her toddler son Adrienne were among hundreds of Fort Bragg families who picked up meals. The 82nd Airborne Division Association gifted 500 frozen chickens along with all the trimmings to junior enlisted soldiers and their families days ahead of the holiday.

Specialist Donald Kariuki also picked up a meal for a friend who is now self-isolating after being exposed to someone with COVID-19.

"He doesn't want to expose other people. He's doing this so he can provide for his son and so that he can keep everybody else safe," said Kariuki.

This is the fifth year of the holiday troop support program. Members of the association and various companies including Perdue, Walmart and Aldi came together to help make this possible.

"It helps them to see that there are people in the community that care about what they are doing and what they give. Also, the sacrifices their families also make for our country," said 82nd Airborne Division Association Director Bill Bauer.

Military families and friends of recipients were beyond thankful to those lending a helping hand this holiday.

"We're so grateful for it," said Bauer.
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