Carrie Smith is a sucker for the single soldier.

And a whopping meal.

She and her husband, Pvt. Robert Smith, a Baumholder, Germany-based Bradley fighting vehicle mechanic, volunteered to open their Baumholder home Thanksgiving to a gaggle of unmarried soldiers and a few wounded troops recouping at Landstuhl Regional Medical Center’s outpatient Kleber Casern facility.

This year is Smith’s first Thanksgiving away from the hustling holiday of more than 20 relatives who gather at her grandmother’s Vacaville, Calif., home. And with an expected guest list of some 10 troops — if not more — plus the Smith family of five themselves, her intention was not to re-create the bustle of her childhood Thanksgiving, but rather to offer a holiday home to troops who otherwise might be alone, she said.

“I think we just wanted to create something nice for them. I’m a sucker for the single soldier and they don’t have anywhere to go, so we thought we’d bring them over here,” Smith said.

She’s not alone.

Fifty-five families so far in the Baumholder area have had the same idea. They answered a call from the Baumholder Red Cross station to host wounded troops at their homes for Thanksgiving dinner, assistant manager Glenn Alexander said.

Others from the Kaiserslautern Military Community American Red Cross station have signed up for the program, dubbed Adopt-A-Hero, to open their homes to troops from all services wounded in Iraq and Afghanistan, said Barbara Johnson, assistant manager for the station.

The spirit of giving has spread regionwide, and not just during the holidays, said LRMC spokeswoman Marie Shaw.

Year-round, German and American families have been hosting dinners for wounded troops able to leave the hospital or outpatient facility, donating clothing and toiletry items, and organizing day trips to various German sites, Shaw said.

Volunteers have signed up to bring Thanksgiving feasts to feed hundreds of troops who stay behind at Kleber Casern.

More than 65 troops are scheduled to visit volunteers’ homes, and another 150 or more will have dinner at the Medical Transition Detachment at Landstuhl, said platoon Staff Sgt. Albert Farrar at the MTD.

“We have a lot of volunteers that are doing a stand-up job volunteering meals, themselves and their time to basically provide a great Thanksgiving for the deployed warriors residing here.”

Troops will feast on delights like that at the Smith household, including not only turkey, but a large ham accompanied by sweet potatoes, stuffing, greens, macaroon cookies and pumpkin pies. All of which the 26-year-old mother of three girls, ages 5, 3 and 8 months, will prepare herself.

“We feel the soldiers shouldn’t have to be alone for Thanksgiving since they don’t have any family over here,” she said.

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