COLORADO SPRINGS – While most people are gathered with family and friends for Thanksgiving, most young new soldiers arriving at Fort Carson are forced to be away from theirs.
But that doesn’t mean they have nowhere to go.
It’s all part of a program called “Citizen Soldier Connection” which connects active duty service members with local families.
And while serving a meal may seem like a simple act of kindness, it can make all the difference for those who serve our country.
The Mckiernan family is one of more than a hundred families across southern Colorado who opened their home to active duty service members this Thanksgiving.
“We just thought it would be a nice thing to do,” said Flo Mckiernan.
“We feel honored that they would even want to come and have dinner with us.”
Three Fort Carson soldiers joined them. They all arrived less than a month ago.
At first, they struggled with the thought of being away from friends and family on Thanksgiving.
“Actually, I got really upset, I was kind of upset about it,” admitted Kasey Reynolds.
“But then i started to think positive, think about the good stuff that could happen.”
And the good stuff came in the form of a delicious Thanksgiving meal surrounded by a caring family ready to welcome them as part of their own.
“I love it, all of it,” added Reynolds.
“They have made me feel very welcome.”
“It’s actually really amazing, because like there’s so many thoughts that go through your head like about not being able to go home,” said Michael Lawrence.
“And then for somebody to just kind of, they don’t even know you but they’re willing to share their family and their hospitality, it’s not something that you see everyday.”
This family is hoping to leave these soldiers’ hearts – and tummies – full.
“Well I hope they take away with full stomachs, first of all!” she said with laughter.
“And i hope that it shows them that we do care.”
Mckiernan also encourages others to take part in this simple act of kindness.
“Set another plate, set two more plates, that’s no big deal!”
if you or your family would like to get involved with the “soldier connection” program, you can find out more information here.