A Fayetteville church is bringing in holiday cheer by handing out Thanksgiving meals to soldiers at Fort Bragg.
This is the third year Manna Church is partnering with Two Brothers Catering to give away meals. Some soldiers tell ABC11 it takes time to get used to being away from their families for Thanksgiving. However, they say seeing volunteers come on post to hand out meals really helps get them into the holiday spirit.
"It's like a good feeling because that means you guys are thinking about us and sometimes you don't get that a lot, especially over here. So it's good to be noticing other people noticing us," said Jodison Lassen, a Fort Bragg soldier.
"People from the community, plus having your fellow soldiers around just makes the holidays that much better. It's almost as if I never left. I still have family here," said Caleb Constantin, also a Fort Bragg soldier.
Volunteers gave out more than 750 meals to soldiers at Pike Field. Manna Church says this is just one way it can show its appreciation for the many soldiers and veterans in its community.
"For a lot of people, especially the younger soldiers, this might be their first Thanksgiving away from home," said Jordan Gill, the admissions of outreach director of manna church. "So this is an opportunity for us to show them some love, let them know that they're cared for."
"To be able to work with the military community through our 21-plus years just gives us the opportunity to give back to the soldiers and the families that put it all on the line for us every single day," said Brad McLawhorn, a co-owner of Two Brothers Catering.
Gill says Manna Church plans to host more holiday outreach events in the weeks ahead as Christmas draws close.