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Thanks for the turkeys, Ammo Can drive tradition

Barnes Air National Guard Base, 104 Fighter Wing - Westfield, Mass -- What would Thanksgiving be without a turkey meal?

Members of the 104th Fighter Wing have been asking themselves that same question for the past 6 years, and each time they ask...they are reminded that there are families in our community that may not be able to have a traditional thanksgiving meal without a little help.

That is why members of the Wing contribute to the 104th Ammo Can Drive every year,.
The wing members contribute annually to this charity, raising money to support the annual turkey donation which goes to 104 families in the local area, that is 1564lbs of turkeys. In addition, the Ammo Can drive has collected countless tons of non-perishable food items in the past 21 years.

This year Ms. Luz Rodriguez, Ms. Anita Barnes and Ms. Gail LaGasse from the Westfield Salvation Army accepted the turkeys.

"We look forward to this donation year after year," said LaGasse. "We cannot express how thankful the families are who receive these donations." She added that the members of the 104th truly make a difference in their community.

This year's Ammo-Can drive will take place during the December Unit Training Assembly, where members will be collecting donations and sharing holiday cheer. This event will mark the 22nd year of the charity event.

We greatly appreciate the outpouring of support and generosity that the members of the 104th have demonstrated consistently over the past 22 years," said Chief Master Sgt. Al Reale, 104FW Ammo Section Superintendant. "You never know what you're going to see the Ammo folks doing when you arrive to the gate on December UTA...but I guarantee it'll be entertaining."

The Ammo Can Drive has also become one of the traditions of the Ammo unit. Members of this tight-knit bunch often utilize outrageous and comical costumes to entertain the base members as they arrive for Drill. The staple can-food collectors include a 6 ft. tall Winnie the Pooh and a Santa-hat wearing gorilla. The Ammo unit has fun all while supporting a good cause.

"I look forward to coming to drill in December, knowing I will be greeted by an Ammo troop, and a story-book character, rallying the unit to support the community...a great event and a lot of fun." said Senior Airman Luis Colon, member of the Maintenance Squadron