Operation: Ham Grenade

Hundreds of complimentary holiday hams were delivered across Joint Base Lewis-McChord and Camp Murray

By Gary Lott on December 19, 2014

"This program is amazing - not just for the meals that it will provide to everyone's families, but also because this is a visible reminder of the support that our community partners and civic leaders have for our airmen and soldiers here at JBLM," said Col. David Kumashiro, 62nd Airlift Wing commander, while receiving holiday hams for his airmen.

Just in time for the holidays and to provide a little alleviation from holiday spending, comes Operation: Ham Grenade program across Joint Base Lewis-McChord and Camp Murray, Dec. 12. The program provides hundreds of complimentary holiday hams for servicemembers and their families. 

Operation: Ham Grenade begins months before the actual event. Dozens of military supporting organizations and individuals donate their time, energy and money organizing hams for servicemembers.

"Every day, I'm so impressed, not just by the resources and financial support they (volunteers/organizations) provide us, but also the time and energy they devote to make sure our airmen and soldiers' families are taken care of," added Kumashiro.

>>> Hundreds of holiday hams for servicemembers were transported in a donated Coleman American Allied Van Lines moving truck, Dec. 12. Photo credit: Gary Lott

>>> Vice commander of the Western Air Defense Sector (WADS), Col. Dave Harmon, left, stands with his WADS first sergeant, Master Sgt. Shawn Montgomery, and thanks the many volunteers and partners of the Operation: Ham Grenade program, Dec. 12. Photo credit: Gary Lott

Primarily the Association of the United States Army (AUSA), Pierce Military & Business Alliance (PMBA) and Air Force Association (AFA) bring this program to servicemembers.

Twenty volunteers from the various supporting organizations had the special treat of riding together for the first time in this program's history - thanks in large part to the Lucky Eagle Casino & Hotel for graciously donating one of their transport buses for the volunteers to deliver the "packages" across Joint Base Lewis-McChord and Camp Murray.

>>> Matthew Boyce not only donated his time to drive his Coleman American Allied Van Lines full of hundreds of holiday hams, but also helped the 20 volunteers unload the hams at each of the 21 stops across Joint Base Lewis-McChord. Photo credit: Gary Lott

>>> Nina Renner of Harborstone Credit Union is all smiles while helping unload holiday meals for the members of 22nd Special Tactics Squadron at Joint Base Lewis-McChord.  This stop was one of 21 stops across JBLM and Camp Murray, as part of the Operation: Ham Grenade program for in-need servicemembers. Photo credit: Gary Lott

"The excitement level for us is equal," said Kumashiro. 

There wasn't a single volunteer that wasn't full of smiles throughout the day.

"We talk a lot about service in both the Air Force and Army, we say duty in the Army and service before self in the Air Force," said Kumashiro. "It's amazing to know that these volunteers are out there displaying that same sense of service for our Airmen."