Rations Company Helps Homeless Vets in Winterhaven 96
Sgt. Kurt Sutton
WASHINGTON -- Marines from a local reserve unit here recently participated in a civilian-to-military exercise to take care of some of the area's homeless veterans.
Winterhaven 96, held at the DC National Guard Armory, provided food, clothing, personal care items, haircuts, medical, dental, and eye checkups, flu shots, mental health screenings, and legal assistance to the veterans. More than 300 volunteers, including 12 Marines from 4th Rations Co., 4th Supply Bn., 4th Force Service Support Group, assisted nearly 700 homeless vets.
"We just recently were allowed to participate in programs like Winterhaven as a result of legislation passed by Congress. It gives us the opportunity to help-out with our community and at the same time, practice our job skills," said Maj. Robert A. Riffe, commanding officer, 4th Rations Co.
Section 2012 of Title 10, U.S. Code, contained in the National Defense Authorization Act for FY 96, allows government institutions to provide services or resources for the good of the community, as long as it also allows those government organizations the opportunity to train in their specific areas.
Rations Co. participated by cooking and serving mostly donated food items the Marines had prepared on-site while Winterhaven 96 took place.
"I really enjoy helping these guys out," said Staff Sgt. Valary L. Alston, 4th Rations Co., who was serving food. "I get a real personal high out of seeing their faces and interacting with them," she said.
"We're going to try and participate as much as we can in these kinds of events. By law, we have to pay our Marine reservists when they're on duty, so our participation could be constrained. I know we had a lot of Marines who volunteered to be here," Riffe said, "but we could only take a few."
Commercial: (703) 614-1492/4/5 DSN: 224-1492/4/5
FAX: (703) 697-5362
Date: 12/09/96 Release #: Byline: Sgt. Kurt Sutton
Marine Corps News Library
Return to Military Food Service