YORBA LINDA, Calif. – Citizens of East Lake Village Community lined the entryway into the clubhouse, giving a warm welcome as U.S. Army Soldiers and families from Fort Irwin arrived to eat a traditional Thanksgiving meal and enjoy the company of many patriotic community members, Nov. 24.
Over 120 Soldiers and families took part in the annual dinner gathering, hosted by Bridget Blehm, executive director and founder, For Families of Active Military.
“We couldn’t do this without the many volunteers that put this event on,” said Blehm ”We’ve done this for nine years now for these very brave Soldiers who sign up to join our military every day.”
While volunteer chefs prepared prime rib for the main course, the gathering enjoyed watching football and socializing in front of a spectacular view of the lake.
After social hour, Congressman Ed Royce, serving the California’s 39th Congressional District, and Fort Irwin Garrison Commander, Col. Scott Taylor made remarks.
“Thank you for the jobs that you do to keep this country free, this nation was based upon an ideal that has inspired people across the world, but we couldn’t have kept this commitment to the Bill of Rights without the perpetual sacrifices of the men and women in uniform. Thank you for your service,” said Royce.
As Taylor gave his remarks, a token of appreciation was given to Blehm.
“On behalf of Brig. Gen. Jeff Broadwater (Commander, National Training Center), we want to thank the community for hosting this event, we feel appreciated and welcomed,” said Taylor “It’s an honor and a privilege to serve this country and we are humbled by the gratitude from this community.”
After opening remarks, it was all smiles as Soldiers and families were served the Thanksgiving meal by volunteers from the community.
Blehm founded the non-profit organization in 2006. For Families of Active Military’s endeavors to offer stability, strength and support to the military and families of active military on an emergency and proactive basis, whether it be physical, emotional or financial.