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150 military families receive Thanksgiving meals

(Left to right) First Sergeants Senior Master Sgt. Shaun Comley, 388th Maintenance Squadron, Master Sgt. Brian Carpenter, 75th Medical Group, and Master Sgt. Randy Hassenplug.

(Left to right) First Sergeants Senior Master Sgt. Shaun Comley, 388th Maintenance Squadron, Master Sgt. Brian Carpenter, 75th Medical Group, and Master Sgt. Randy Hassenplug, 75 Force Support Squadron, assemble Thanksgiving meal kits Nov. 17, 2021, at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. Annually, Operation Warm Heart, a longstanding Air Force first sergeants organization aimed at helping Airmen and their families, partners with the Commissary and other agencies to plan, organize and distribute all the fixings for a tasty Thanksgiving meal for military families. (U.S. Air Force photo by Todd Cromar)

Master Sgt. Randy Hassenplug, 75th Force Support Squadron first sergeant, loads food items into a truck with the help of students.

Master Sgt. Randy Hassenplug, 75th Force Support Squadron first sergeant, loads food items into a truck with the help of students Nov. 12, 2021, at West Clinton Elementary School in Clinton, Utah. The students organized a community food drive and collected more than 6,000 food items for military members in need of a little extra help during the holidays. (U.S. Air Force photo by Todd Cromar)

West Clinton Elementary School students and teachers help load food items into a truck.

West Clinton Elementary School students and teachers help load food items into a truck Nov. 12, 2021, Clinton, Utah. The students organized a community food drive and collected more than 6,000 food items for military members in need of a little extra help during the holidays. (U.S. Air Force photo by Todd Cromar)

Michele Bolin (left), Commissary employee, hands over a turkey to Senior Master Sgt. Shaun Comley, 388th Maintenance Squadron first sergeant.

Michele Bolin (left), Commissary employee, hands over a turkey to Senior Master Sgt. Shaun Comley, 388th Maintenance Squadron first sergeant, Nov. 17, 2021, at Hill Air Force Base Utah. Annually, Operation Warm Heart, a longstanding Air Force first sergeants organization aimed at helping Airmen and their families, partners with the Commissary and other agencies to plan, organize and distribute all the fixings for a tasty Thanksgiving meal for military families. (U.S. Air Force photo by Todd Cromar)

First sergeants assemble Thanksgiving meal kits.

First sergeants assemble Thanksgiving meal kits Nov. 17, 2021, at Hill Air Force Base, Utah. Annually, Operation Warm Heart, a longstanding Air Force first sergeants organization aimed at helping Airmen and their families, partners with the Commissary and other agencies to plan, organize and distribute all the fixings for a tasty Thanksgiving meal for military families. (U.S. Air Force photo by Todd Cromar)

Senior Airman Amiel Guerrero, 75th Force Support Squadron, receives a Thanksgiving meal kit from Master Sgt. Randy Hassenplug, 75th Force Support Squadron first sergeant.

Senior Airman Amiel Guerrero, 75th Force Support Squadron, receives a Thanksgiving meal kit from Master Sgt. Randy Hassenplug, 75th Force Support Squadron first sergeant, Nov. 17, 2021, at Hill Air Force Base Utah. This year, more than 150 military families received Thanksgiving meal kits courtesy of Operation Warm Heart, the Hill AFB Commissary and its patrons, and students at West Clinton Elementary School. (U.S. Air Force photo by Todd Cromar)

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah -- Operation Warm Heart, a longstanding Air Force first sergeants organization aimed at helping Airmen and their families throughout the year, is at it again this holiday season.

One of the program’s annual giving events occurs during the Thanksgiving holiday, where Hill’s first sergeants work closely with the Hill Air Force Base Commissary to plan, organize and distribute all the fixings for a tasty Thanksgiving meal for military families.

This year, they had some assistance.

Contributing were students at West Clinton Elementary School, who organized a community food drive to collect food items for military members who might be in need of a little extra assistance during the holidays.

“West Clinton Elementary School recently reached out to my office and explained that the student council and the HOPE squad wanted to do something special in recognition of the 20th anniversary of 9/11 and November, which is the Month of the Military Family,” said Leslie Flynn, 75th Force Support Squadron school liaison.

The students collected more than 6,000 food items, which were donated to Operation Warm Heart and the Airman’s Attic food pantry, located at the Airman and Family Readiness Center.

“I think this is a wonderful example of the care and support our local community continually demonstrates for our Airmen at Hill AFB,” Flynn said.

In addition to the school’s food donations, Operation Warm Heart ordered and purchased turkeys from the Hill AFB Commissary, while the commissary gathered additional food items purchased and donated by the store’s patrons.

“With the combined food donations from commissary customers and West Clinton Elementary School community, we received plenty of food items to meet our goals,” said Master Sgt. Randy Hassenplug, 75th FSS first sergeant. “Everything not used for the Thanksgiving meals will be donated to the food pantry at the Airman’s Attic to help the Hill community.”

In total, 150 military families will receive a holiday meal this year.