MARINE CORPS BASE HAWAII --
Service members from Headquarters Battalion and Marine Corps Air Station Kaneohe Bay participated in a 4-mile hike with packs full of nonperishable foods for donation to the Armed Services YMCA Thanksgiving food baskets, Nov. 22, 2013.
Participants were encouraged to invite their families to join the hike. Marines and sailors who brought their children and spouses hiked behind the formation while the rest of the service members hiked in one of three formations. Col. Brian P. Annichiarico, base commanding officer, led the formation.
“It was very motivating bringing the families together,” said Sgt. David Johnson, barracks manager for Headquarters Battalion. “It was a great way to give thanks and have our families involved.”
Service members were told to carry 30 pounds of gear in their packs and to remove one piece of gear for each nonperishable item they brought to donate.
“I thought it was cool that we made a unit physical training event into a charitable event,” said Lance Cpl. Duncan Hasler, personal property clerk with the Distribution Management Office, Headquarters Battalion. “People always help out the military, so this is a way for us to give back.”
They began the 4-mile hike at Anderson Hall Dining Facility and continued up to Kaneohe Bay Range Training Facility. There they turned around and stopped for a 10-minute break. Marine Corps Air Station then took the lead of the formation back to the dining hall.
Annichiarico thanked the Marines and sailors for their hard work.
“Thank you for what you do for the base,”Annichiarico said. “When everything goes right no one says anything, but when it goes wrong you hear about it. I get praised for our base but the real work is done by you. Take pride that people notice what goes on here.”
Once at the dining facility, everyone emptied the food from their packs into donation boxes.
The ASYMCA collected 2,044 pounds of non-perishable goods from the participants in the joint unit hike to help feed Hawaii military families this Thanksgiving.