Operation Stryker Christmas: Soldiers give back

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo — Over 2,000 soldiers from Fort Carson marched through Colorado Springs Friday for a special reason: their sixth annual Christmas event.

Almost 500 of the 2,000 soldiers who volunteered marched all the way from Fort Carson through the dead of night for this event; a 25 mile ruck march with 35 pounds of presents on their backs.

Soldiers volunteered to do this because of the communities need.

“I see people out here that have clothes on that have had on for probably about a week straight.  There’s people who probably smell bad, but at the same time, when I look at the families in need, I feel proud that we are able to give back to those who need it, because I’m pretty sure that if we were down they would help us out as well,” said Pfc. Treavor Ward.

Soldiers said it’s a no-brainer to give back.

“It’s important to understand that we don’t just serve here at Fort Carson.  We also live here, sleep here, we get multiple services around us, so it’s good to give back,” said Staff Sgt. Nasr Davis.

“We wanted to give back to the community that’s given to us so much.  Our community has done so much for us, supporting us and everything, so we can only give back,” Ward said.

Soldiers battled the cold and fatigue to bring people joy.

“The weather’s no problem, but being a soldier period you automatically conditioned to serve.  You know, it’s better to serve than not serve, so it’s a pretty good feeling anyway, so we can deal with the cold feet for a while,” Davis said.

This event has continued to grow over previous years.

“For the last couple of years it’s almost grown by a power of ten.  It started off ten years ago at four people, and then 40 people, and then 400.  Today were at about 2,000, so I imagine it would continue a pretty steady growth like that,” said 1st Lt. Ronin Eidolon.

The soldiers said they want Friday to showcase their leadership in the community, in the hopes that it inspires others to also give back.

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