Camp Shelby Soldiers March A 10K To Donate Food To Hungry Families Across The Pine Belt
HATTIESBURG, MISS - Soldiers from the Camp Shelby military base hit the ground moving early Wednesday morning. These men and women participated in a 10k march carrying 35 pounds of nonperishable items to a drop off point located at the Clyde Depot Station on the Longleaf Trace trial. “In midst of running with all this weight on their backs they were bringing us joy, and the gift they are giving to the community is huge for families who are hungry and don't always know where their next meal is coming from,” Executive Director for the Edward Street Fellowship Center, Ann McCullen said. “This is a tremendous blessing.” Soldiers from Camp Shelby’s military base saw today's march as a unique opportunity to give back to the community. “Well so, it's the holiday season and we love to give back whenever we can,” the Commander of 177th Armored Brigade, Colonel Jack Vantress said. “We got families inside our service center hurting that we always try to take care of.” Today’s mission consisted of taking care of the community, and that is exactly what these soldiers did. With 41 soldiers carrying 35 pounds, Camp Shelby managed to donate more than 14-hundred pounds of nonperishable items, which is ready to distribute across seven counties. First Sargent, Kerry Koepka says the best part of today’s march is the soldiers’ willingness to participate in the event. “It's all voluntary,” Koepka said. “Every soldier that came out here today was on a voluntary basis.” After crossing the finish line, these soldiers could finally see the fruits of their labor, and reflect on what they mean to the community and what the community means to them. The seven counties food will be distributed across are Covington, Forrest, Jasper, Jeff Davis, Jones, Lamar, and Wayne counties.