Eighteen 3rd Brigade Special Troops Battalion Soldiers arrived at the Rohde Community Center Pantry in Adams, ready to volunteer their time and hard work to help feed the local community, July 23.
Soldiers in 3rd BSTB have partnered with Adams, working with the local population to help improve their quality of life and build strong relations between the village and the battalion.
“A few months before we deployed, (my wife) and I, we're (driving through) Adams; when we got to the center of town, we saw a line about a block long and I saw volunteers handing out free food,” said Command Sgt. Maj. Ronald Johnson, 3rd BSTB command sergeant major. “It blew me away. I have never seen poor and hungry in the U.S. like that.”
As command sergeant major of the battalion, Johnson asked for volunteers to help the hungry people of the village.
“The Adams Food Bank was the first thing that came to my mind when I found out we were going to ‘partner’ with the village of Adams,” Johnson said.
Soldiers arrived at the food bank around the time the food truck arrived. They unloaded and helped set up boxes and boxes of food. When they were done, food covered the tables waiting to be taken home.
“I feel very good that we are giving back to the community,” said Spc. Jeffrey Ford, a driver in Headquarter and Headquarters Company, 3rd BSTB.
Soldiers continued helping by handing out food and helping elderly visitors carry their food out the door.
While this was the first time many of the Soldiers had volunteered in Adams, it was not the first time they had given their time to help people in need.
“(Our) mission in Afghanistan is to show (the people) we care,” said Ford, a veteran of Afghanistan. “Our mission here is also to show (people) we are willing to help. This makes you realize there are people in both countries that need help.”
For newer Soldiers who have never served overseas, it was a good learning experience, and a glimpse of what deployment can be like.
“I honestly believe that our Soldiers (who) volunteer will mature and achieve a level of personal fulfillment through a little community service, and that will make them better people and better Soldiers,” Johnson said.
Soldiers plan to return to the Rohde Community Center Pantry again in the following weeks, as training allows, and continue to help the people in the community.