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Ham Grenade brings holiday spirit

Community and JBLM leaders come together to spread holiday cheer

For the 10th consecutive year, community and JBLM leaders worked together to distribute hams. Photo credit: J.M. Simpson

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Gratitude characterized the 10th Annual Ham Grenade stop at the Warrior Transition Battalion at the Madigan Army Medical Center last Friday morning.

"This event and all the events we host are to say thank you for the many sacrifices our military families live out every day," said Isabella Colvin, vice president of the Captain Meriwether Lewis Chapter of the Association of the United States Army.

"Hams are one way we can show our gratitude during the holidays."

Colville also said that during the past year, the AUSA worked with its community partners to raise $20,000-plus to support deserving families.

Ham Grenade is an AUSA program which is generously sponsored by the following: ACU Foundation, Omni Financial, Harborstone Credit Union, Fairway Mortgage, Navy Federal Credit Union, Wounded Warrior Project, Combat Veteran Motorcycle Association and the Lakewood Chamber of Commerce.

The program was coordinated through the chaplains' corps along with JBLM's Garrison command.

"It was our pleasure to coordinate the event," said Maj. (Chaplain) Stephan Buchanan, "as we give to the people on our left and right."

The Ham Grenade program began in 2009, and it helps junior-enlisted families enjoy the holidays from Thanksgiving through the Christmas season.

"It is a significant help to some soldiers and their families during the holiday season," said Capt. Zachary King, Headquarters and Headquarters Detachment Commander at Madigan.

From the moment the over 30 volunteers stepped out of a bus donated by The Lucky Eagle Casino and began to unload 50 hams from a truck donated by the Old Cannery Furniture Warehouse, a sense of purpose to accomplish the mission prevailed.

"There is a lot of movement right now," observed King, "and it is joyously frantic."

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