When I saw your report on the Adopt-A-Troop campaign I knew it was something I needed to find out more about. Since then my coworkers at Pierce College, along with the folks at Patriot’s Landing and Dawn Mercer of “Your Administrative Assistant,” have adopted Alpha Battery, 212th Artillery, 4th Stryker Brigade.
I have lived here almost all my life and remember being told; “Don’t ever date a soldier. They are here today and gone tomorrow and have no connections to the community.” Sadly, there was some truth to that. As I grew older I realized the “fault” was not necessarily with the soldiers, but with the lack of connection to our community. On the other hand, many soldiers return to our region to retire and many stay here to raise their families. It simply makes sense to embrace them as an active part of our communities.
I think the business aspect is wonderful; in addition I wanted to connect these soldiers to our community in a more direct, personal way. I thought the idea of writing to the troops was good, but what do you write about if you don’t know them? Also, as an Air Force Brat, I know the best way to care for a soldier is to help take care of his/her family. So when I was informed of this couple’s wedding, I thought it was a unique opportunity to accomplish several things at once.
Alpha Battery’s members come from all over America; Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, East LA, Tennessee, North Carolina, Michigan, etc. Many of them expressed their amazement that anyone would do such a thing for a soldier, let alone an entire community pulling together to make this wedding unique and memorable for all. They have experienced the community cooperation and down home hospitality that Washington State is known for.
Thank you all for your dedication. As Switchboard Operator for Pierce College, Ft Steilacoom, I read your publication faithfully – I learn a lot from you guys! I wanted you to know how what you do motivates and shapes our community.
Following is an email to Linda Smith (director of the Lakewood Chamber):
Thank you so very much for your assistance and encouragement on our first “event” for Adopting Alpha Battery, 212th Artillery, 4th Stryker Brigade. It was a wonderful success even with only four days to plan and orchestrate. I could not have pulled this off without your responsiveness and your wonderful assistant, Beverly.
I have attached a brief recap of the event – as you can see, “It Takes a Village!”
Alpha Battery deployed Saturday morning for Iraq. Without exception, the members of Alpha Battery expressed their amazement that the community would care about them in such a personal way. They don’t expect thanks for being soldiers, but they are grateful for our support and respect.
Thank you for your support on this most deserving project.
Following is a brief synopsis of the event:
- Judge Brian Tollefson married the couple on Sunday, August 30th , 9:30am in his Chambers – (Wonderful ceremony!)
- David Lobban, Lobban Photography Inc., photographed the couple at the Museum of Glass (donated his time & exquisite talent). He has offered a portrait package at a hugely reduced cost*
- John Monreal, of C.I. Shenanigans, provided brunch for the wedding party
- Pierce College ~ Ft Steilacoom, employees purchased the flowers and the cake, provided the brides ensemble and a reception location.
- Barb Kvapil of AA Party Rentals, offered the use of tables and chairs. firstname.lastname@example.org
- Costco of Tacoma, provided a $25 in store gift card
- Dawn Mercer, “Your Administrative Assistant,” www.djmercer.com arrived at the reception with the most cheery “can-do” attitude and promptly made herself indispensible, helping with everything from food prep to schmoozing with the guests and chatting with the guys from Alpha Battery. What a Gem!
- Shellie Banuelos, Director of Sales, Silver Cloud Inn, provided an exquisite view room and breakfast for their honeymoon.
- Mike Francis, of The Ram Restaurant & Brewery, provided lunch for the Newlyweds and a nice discount package for their wedding gift.
- My neighbors the Spencer’s who know how to party; cooked the meat, French fries and potato skins, provided gazebos, tables, chairs, coolers, ice and grandkids to help move everything (Whew!) :>
- My neighbors the Thornton’s – www.Thornton-Services.com – no one cleans up faster than a Kim tornado!
- Capt. JR Frye, 4th Stryker Brigade for making sure the groom was off duty!!
- ALPHA BATTERY~ Set up/tear down and all around good guys.
*We are still accepting donations to cover the reception costs and a portrait for the bride & groom. Contact # is 253-683-1781 – Cheri’