By Reggie Jarrett
Editor, Jax Air News
When RP1 Brooks Kuhn needed help filling holiday food bags at the Naval Air Station Jacksonville chapel Nov. 15, a group of Sailors taking a leadership course next door dropped what they were doing to lend a hand.
In a model of Navy efficiency, 30 Sailors formed an assembly line to fill 300 holiday food packages in about 20 minutes. The annual program provides Thanksgiving food packages to E-5 Sailors and below with families.
"Nomination forms were sent out to determine which Sailors have a genuine need," said Kuhn, who coordinated the event for the base chapel.
The holiday packages consist of food items and a $25 gift card for the NAS Jacksonville commissary. Holiday items will also be distributed to Sailors at Christmas.
"It ends up being about $7,000 worth of food for the two holiday giveaways," said Kuhn.
"We do it to help out Sailors because money gets tight at the holidays."
The chapel worked in conjunction with the Greater Jacksonville Area United Service Organization (USO) to raise donations for the annual event.
"It helps our junior service members and their families stretch their budget," said Bob Ross, operations director for the USO.
"It is a wonderful program to help our Sailors to have a great holiday season."
Caylea Moody, with the Oakleaf Club of Naval Hospital Jacksonville, brought her four children to help decorate the food bags. "It is an awesome program," she said.
"It gives the families one less thing to worry about for the holidays."
Moody wanted to get her children involved with assisting service members.
"We are always looking for a way to help out the troops," she said.
"We are always telling our kids about how our troops are serving us, so this is a small way for us to serve them."