Fort Bragg families affected by Hurricane Florence receive boxes of food
By RACHAEL RILEY | The Fayetteville Observer, N.C. | Published: November 21, 2018
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (Tribune News Service) — Almost 16,000 pounds of food was distributed Tuesday to 400 soldiers and families affected by Hurricane Florence at Fort Bragg.
The USO of North Carolina partnered with the U.S.-based Feed the Children charity to provide the boxes filled with canned and dry food.
“This opportunity is a great morale boost and a wonderful way to show our appreciation for their service just in time for the holidays,” said Renee Lane, USO of North Carolina Sandhills Area Director.
The Tuesday event was the ninth time that Feed the Children and the USO of North Carolina have combined efforts to show appreciation toward military families.
The USO of North Carolina worked with military chaplains to identify soldiers affected by the hurricane.
Staff Sgt. Jessie Flores, a chaplain at Fort Bragg, knew several soldiers who were affected, but two in particular.
“One of them, he lived in an apartment complex that got flooded, and he had to relocate to one of the shelters for a couple of nights,” Flores said.
Other soldiers were impacted by flooded roads like Highway 87, he said.
Chaplains were on hand Tuesday to load 25-pound boxes into cars of those affected soldiers or their spouses.
Spc. Ashton Milliken was among the steady stream of cars.
“Overall, we were pretty fortunate that it didn’t cost us a lot,” said Milliken, who lives off post in Spring Lake. “However, just some of the devastation from some people I know was just unmatched, and just having a thing like this to help especially these soldiers out it’s amazing that people would do that for other people
Spc. Tekera Taylor said it’s the first hurricane she remembers.
“I was scared,” she said, adding she was relieved that the only damage her home sustained was limited to shutters and a fence that was knocked down.
Lauren Fernandez lives on post and said her home had a tree fall near their home, her deck has a hole in it and the bedroom needs repair.
Her husband, a soldier with the 27th Engineer Battalion, was part of disaster relief efforts outside of Jacksonville, North Carolina.
“This was the first hurricane we were really part of,” she said.
Lane said Tuesday's event initially was scheduled after Hurricane Florence in September, but was rescheduled because of Hurricane Michael weeks later in October.
“But (this is) right on the heels of Thanksgiving,” she said. “This will really fill in that gap between the holidays.”
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