After a move from Arizona to the Portland, Oregon area for Tech Sgt. Justin Bartlett’s new full-time job with the Air National Guard, the whole family, including his wife Holly and their three kids, were without their usual support system.
Justin had been gone for three months for training, returning right before Easter. Holidays in Arizona had been about family and friends but Holly was not sure what the day would bring in their new home. Justin got an email about Operation Homefront’s Holiday Meals for Military (HMFM) program and Holly signed up online.
For Easter the family enjoyed a meal with all the fixings.
“The day we got the meals the kids were so excited and that was exciting, you know, to see how the kids were about it,” Holly said. “Even now thinking about it brings tears to my eyes now as it did then.”
Being in a military family often means having to move far away from loved ones, something Holly said everyone was adjusting to, even though it remained a challenge. Knowing there are people out there who care makes a difference.
“There’s so much sacrifice, so much difficulty and when you have the load lightened just a little bit it brings light and it brings peace and it reminds me of the goodness,” Holly said. “And those who donate to make that happen is truly a blessing. It could have been a sad day because we didn’t have family but it turned into a peaceful day. I didn’t have to worry about cooking and got to just enjoy the day together. Plus relieving that financial burden is also helpful. I’m tearing up again just thinking about it.”
“I would like to say thank you,” Holly said. “Thank you to everyone who put the effort into it. It really does mean a lot and doesn’t go unnoticed.”