Fort Drum soldiers take to the sky to help feed needy

Published: Nov. 17, 2022 at 5:49 PM EST
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FORT DRUM, New York (WWNY) - From rucksacks to the air to shelves, Fort Drum soldiers used their day Thursday to help a food pantry.

An early morning bugle signaled the start for soldiers of the 10th Mountain Division’s 10th Combat Aviation Brigade.

It was followed by a 5.5-mile trek around Wheeler-Sack Army Airfield in support of the Watertown Urban Mission to raise awareness for those in need.

“A lot of families are hurting everywhere. We want to do something good for them, impacting their lives,” said Maj. Younsoo Park, chaplain, 10th Combat Aviation Brigade.

Each soldier walked the flight line with their rucksacks filled with food, filling four boxes, ready to take flight.

“We deeply care about our local community. We want to do something good for the community,” said Park.

“Oh my gosh, it was like straight out of the movies. It was perfect,” said Cherelyn VanBrocklin, executive director of the Watertown Urban Mission.

That food flown from Fort Drum to the Watertown International Airport will help the urban mission stock its shelves as the holidays approach.

“It’s going to be monumental. We’ve had people and families come into the mission since the beginning of November wondering about Thanksgiving and Thanksgiving meals,” said VanBrocklin.

1,900 meals have been served up by the urban mission so far this year. VanBrocklin says that’s 500 more than this time last year.

Her agency runs off the help that the volunteers provide.

“We really couldn’t run this agency without the volunteers that we have. Fort Drum coming in and helping is very significant,” she said.

With boots on the ground, and food on the shelves, the aviators are helping to accomplish the mission of one local organization.