A group of Fort Drum soldiers got off the post and into the community Tuesday. They collected hundreds of pounds of food to bring to the Salvation Army in Watertown. They also helped serve lunch. As our Brian Dwyer reports, it's an effort that is important to many of the men and women because they know someone who's struggled or has struggled themselves.
WATERTOWN, N.Y. -- Several containers filled with food for the Salvation Army in Watertown. Soldiers from the 110th Transportation Company made the donation Tuesday.
"As I was growing up, I understood how it was for moms, dads or either or to come like this and not have it all. So we're just here to show that we care and we understand," SPC Solomon Morris said.
"The food pantry they're donating to is an emergency food pantry for the community of Watertown. It runs solely off of donations like this," Lt. Zeb Hough of the Watertown Salvation Army added.
"Being able to help the less fortunate is actually a good feeling. I would like somebody to do the same for me if ever I'm down," SPC Ramon Mota said.
In all, some 400 pounds of canned foods and soups, cereals and more. This kind of donation is something the company started in 2011. They were deployed last year, so this is their second time making this delivery.
"It shows that just because we're in the Army, we're not always out there fighting wars. We want to come here and help Watertown," SPC Peter Hand said. "Even if we're not really from this town, it doesn't matter because we still want to come out here and help and be a part of the community."
But for these soldiers, collecting the food and dropping it off wasn't enough. They wanted to do more. They decided to stay and help serve it. It's a chance to meet those folks that they're helping.
"Mingle with the folks a little bit," SGT Fred Miles said. "They tell them about themselves. A lot of times people join the Army to get out of a bad situation, to get out of a struggling situation. You can't forget where you come from. You also have to give back to help people come out of those bad situations."
"It's just a little something extra to show that we're just not here to drop off, pick up and leave. We're here to stay," SSG Diya Shakoor added. "We're here to show the community we're here and we care."
"Actions speak louder than words and certainly the fact that they're willing to stay and be a part of the community is again, spectacular," Hough said.
On this Tuesday afternoon, the soldiers served about 80 people, each group saying thank you to one another. And even though the soldiers may change every year or so, the company hopes to keep this going every year.