Story and photos by Cassandra Wyatt, USAG Ansbach Red Cross Station Manager
ANSBACH, Germany (Dec. 28, 2015) — U.S. Army Garrison Ansbach American Red Cross volunteers traveled throughout the USAG Ansbach footprint on Christmas Day as they delivered gift boxes donated from the employees of Amazon to Soldiers and Airmen on duty here Dec. 25.
The Red Cross volunteers, who traveled to six different kasernes making their deliveries, also brought goodie bags to all of the on-duty installation gate guards.
“I am happy to do this,” said Tebarge Ward, who serves as an Exceptional Family Member Program case coordinator at USAG Ansbach. “As a former Soldier and reservist, we are all away from home (in Germany), and it is not easy to feel appreciated or remembered in this busy world. This brings a feeling of home and appreciation that renews the spirit.
“I just wish we had gifts for everyone,” Ward added. “The spirit of giving is infectious, and it is so rewarding to see the Soldiers’ faces at the unexpected gifts and caring. One smile says it all.”
Col. Christopher Waters and Command Sgt. Maj. Osvaldo Martell, 12th Combat Aviation Brigade commander and command sergeant major, respectively, were on hand to express their gratitude as the volunteers visited the brigade operations center and gave out gifts to the Soldiers on duty, as well as to dining facility personnel.
The volunteers then visited the rotational Soldiers of 3rd Battalion, 227th Aviation Regiment, from Fort Hood, Texas, as well as on-duty military police Soldiers. While waiting for the MPs’ shift changes, the volunteers shared stories and memories, and the gifts seemed well-received.
“This is an amazing act of kindness to recognize Soldiers who sacrifice their holidays to keep the Ansbach community safe,” said Sgt. Bertrand Goyette Jr., a military police investigator. “I truly appreciate this gift from the bottom of my heart. A day like today is one of the millions of reasons we do our job. Thank you so much, and merry Christmas.”
“You guys just made my day,” said Spc. Green. “You do not know how excited I am for this. We are happy that members of Amazon and the American people are aware that we are at work around the world.”