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Hams for the holidays

Community furthers holiday spirit

About 30 volunteers participated in the eighth annual Operation Ham Grenade. Photo credit: Carlene Joseph

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Three organizations banded together to make Christmas a bit merrier for Joint Base Lewis-McChord and Washington National Guard families.

For the eighth time, the Association of the United States Army -- Captain Meriwether Lewis Chapter, the Air Force Association McChord Chapter, and the Pierce Military and Business Alliance purchased hams for reserve and active-duty families.

Last Thursday, Dec. 14, approximately 30 individuals met to distribute 1,100 hams during Operation Ham Grenade.

"It was a great day!" wrote retired Col. Stephen Myers, president of the Captain Meriwether Lewis Chapter, AUSA, in an email.

"Carlene has again pulled off a South Sound Christmas miracle with the help of our many amazing community partners."

Carlene Joseph, the vice president of Harborstone Credit Union's community and military relations, organized the event and coordinated with many of the local area's generous supporters of military families.

WalMart (Puyallup), Harborstone Credit Union, America's Credit Union, Navy Federal Credit Union, DaVita, Cannon Construction, Squaxin Indian Tribe, Lucky Eagle Casino, the Old Cannery Furniture Warehouse, Pacific Lutheran University, the Sergeants Major Association, AUSA Captain Meriwether Lewis Chapter Subchapters, the businesses of Pierce Military and Business Alliance, Commercial Drivers School of Lakewood, Caliber Home Loans, United Service Organization, Rite in the Rain, Military Officers Association of America, American Legion Pat Tillman Memorial Post 53, Deryl McCarty, Gold Star Wives, Mara Barthell, Combat Veterans Motorcycle Association, OMNI Financial, and the Pierce County Veterans Advisory Council all contributed.

"We give thanks to the generous organizations that continuously donate funds to Operation Ham Grenade," wrote Joseph in an email.

"We all walk away thankful to our monetary and in-kind donors." 

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