Team Grissom Spreads Holiday Cheer

  • Published
  • By Master Sgt. Rachel Barton
  • 434th Air Refueling Wing Public Affairs

Grissom provides several holiday programs aimed at bringing the spirit of the season to the base and local community.

Holiday programs and events planned for this season included Angel Tree, food drive, kids’ Christmas party, Key Spouse’s door decorating contest and Toys for Tots sponsored by the Marines.

“Angel Tree is a program that is our version of ‘adopt a family.’ Anyone can nominate members to receive food and gifts for the holidays, anonymously,” said Master Sgt. Jason Jastrzembski, Airmen and Family Readiness flight chief and transition assistance program manager. “The recipients have always been very appreciative of the generosity of our ‘Angel’ donors who have helped more than 100 families over the years.”

Angel Tree has reached about 30 families in need every season, and continues to grow each year, according to Jastrzembski.

“The holidays are a special time to help others and this is a program that shows how much we’re looking out for one another here,” he said. “Not a year goes by that we don’t have individuals or whole units that step up to adopt a family.”

The food drive also benefits families at Grissom. Families that receive an Angel Tree donation will get a food basket along with the gifts, or a food donation can be requested by itself.

“We have food donation boxes in almost every building on base where people can donate non-perishables, canned goods, toiletries, and paper products that will go into the food baskets,” said Stacey Pennington, A&FR program manager. “The Grissom Community Council makes a generous financial donation every year for us to buy supplemental groceries for the food baskets."

The Toys for Tots program is also in full swing this year. Marine reservists from Detachment 1, Communication Company, Combat Logistics Regiment 45, 4th Marine Logistics Group are accepting donations for their annual toy drive until mid-December. Collection boxes are out in various locations in the local community as well as on base.

The donations will benefit less fortunate children in seven local counties. This year Toys for Tots and Operation Toy Drop provided some of the toys for Grissom’s kids’ Christmas party during the December Unit Training Assembly.

The kids’ Christmas party is another event put on by A&FR, with holiday movies, snacks, games, and gifts that bring some holiday fun to the dependents of Grissom’s citizen Airmen. Additionally, the Bob Hope Legacy Reading Program provided by the USO-Indiana was available during the December UTA, where service members recorded themselves reading a book for their child, which the children can hopefully find comfort in during times of separation.

The holidays can be a stressful time for military members and their families. AF&R facilitates these events and provides services year round to Airmen and their Families in order to ensure readiness and support the needs of Grissoms’s Airmen before, during and after deployment and military contingency operations.

The 434th ARW is the largest KC-135R Stratotanker unit in the Air Force Reserve Command. The Citizen Airmen from the Hoosier Wing routinely deploy around the world in support of the Air Force mission.