Saturday, April 21, 2007

Commando Brigade spouses make contributions to wounded Soldiers

Multi-National Division – Center PAO, By Staff Sgt. Angela McKinzie
2nd BCT, 10th Mountain PAO

CAMP STRIKER, Iraq – As Soldiers in Iraq are making a difference in the lives of Iraqis, family members are back home making a difference in a different, yet significant way.
Family members of the 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry) have been working diligently to raise money for the Friends of the Commandos Fund, a fund that enables the 2nd BCT Rear Detachment command group to purchase items for the wounded Soldiers.
Recently, a group of 2nd BCT women gathered at the home of Alisa Mahoney, the 2nd BCT command sergeant major’s wife, to prepare 200 Asian meals as part of the fundraiser.
“It was a pretty ambitious undertaking,” Mrs. Mahoney said. “However, the hard work was such a minor issue because the mission is so important to the 2nd BCT.”
Knowing the amount of work involved in preparing the meals did not intimidate the family members. And to make sure everything was prepared just right, Nguyet Borja, the 10th Mountain Division command sergeant major’s wife, watched with a careful eye.
“Her expert Asian culinary skills were instrumental in the planning and the preparation of the meals,” Mahoney said of Borja. “She was the backbone and the head chef both in shopping, prepping the food and then cooking all the different items in the meal. We all followed her directions (in making this a success).”
They cooked 140 pounds of meat, 50 pounds of rice and made 1000 wontons. They began preparing the meals a day in advance and finished them the following day.
“After it was all over, we had a strong sense of teamwork and we had fun in the process,” Mrs. Mahoney said.
The meals consisted of wontons, bulgogi, cucumber kimchi and fried rice. And once they were ready, the Rear-D delivered the meals to several locations on Fort Drum, N.Y.
“I think it is admirable that families back home are continuing to take care of our wounded Soldiers,” said Lt. Col. John Laganelli, the 2nd BCT deputy commander. “Gestures like this make the Commando Brigade such a phenomenal unit to be a part of.”
With the money raised, wounded Soldiers who are at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C., or Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas, will receive a gym bag, athletic suit with snap-away pants, and a t-shirt and gym shorts with the 2nd BCT logo on them. In addition, the fund will provide gifts at Thanksgiving, Christmas and Easter. In the future, the wounded Soldiers will also receive a 2nd BCT blanket.
Knowing the difference the Commando family members are making left them wanting to do more.
“You know it was a success when everyone wants to know when we are doing it again,” Mrs. Mahoney exclaimed.
Like Commando Soldiers who make a difference in Iraq, Commando family members make a difference on the home front.
“It is not just Soldiers taking care of Soldiers,” Laganelli said of the family members. “It is families taking care of Soldiers.”
Family members who participated in the fundraiser were Nguyet Borja, Michelle Kershaw, Alisa Mahoney, Amanda Trayah, Rosie Holmes and her son Frederick, Susan Harrison, Leah Jones, Sue Jones-Horny, Mary Proctor-Smith, Kaye Goldthorpe, Nicole Smith, Jana Haycock, Alexandra Grinston, Elaine Andrews and Mia Santarsiero.
For donations, contact 1st Sgt. Brian Byrd, the 2nd BCT Rear-D first sergeant, at

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