FORT BRAGG, N.C. (WTVD) -- When you're hundreds of miles away from home like Spc. Shannon Homan, being away from family can be lonely.
"If you don't have anybody here -- my husband is in basic training now -- it can be that way," Homan said. "I don't know. I guess I'll just try to find someone to eat dinner with. I have friends here."
Spending holidays such as Thanksgiving with your brothers and sisters in arms helps. As the daughter of a retired staff sergeant, Homan, a combat medic, understands what it takes to proudly serve her country.
"COVID-19 happened and then later in the year, they picked people to go to Afghanistan," Homan said. "It's just been crazy. We all know each other so well. We're just family."
On Wednesday afternoon, Manna Church provided 300 Thanksgiving meals three weeks before the actual holiday to Fort Bragg soldiers on Pike Field.
The soldiers tasted the greatness of roasted turkey and all the trimmings. They received their meals at a drive-through pickup site.
"We definitely want to extend that thank you. We honor their sacrifice. This is something they chose to do. There's not a lot of people who chose to do something like this and take a career that causes them to be apart from their families months and years at a time," said Manna Church Marketing Coordinator Sade Wilson.
Although many of soldiers are a long way from home, when the community steps up to fill that void a few weeks out from the holiday, it makes a difference.
"It's so sweet," Homan said. "You never see people who take the time to plan something like this and not expect anything in return."