Texas Church Throws Party for Deploying Troops

Post a Comment » Written on June 13th, 2008     
Filed under: News
LEANDER, TX (June 13, 2008) – The pastor of CedarRidge Covenant Church says a party the congregation helped throw for soldiers being deployed to Iraq and their families was just the beginning of a new relationship.

“It was great to be able to support the families,” says pastor Lane Skyles. “We’re going to support them any way we can.” Additional photos are available at Deployment Party.

Ten members from CedarRidge were among 30 people from three churches who provided a day of entertainment for the Army 4th Combat Aviation Brigade in a hangar at Ft. Hood on Monday. Beginning at 7 a.m., the churches set up craft tables, bounce houses, served a large meal, and interacted with the guests of honor throughout the day.

Party“It was a fantastic day,” Skyles says. It also was eye opening. He says he developed a new appreciation for the struggles of families who suffer separation from a loved one deployed to a war zone.

“I don’t know how they do it, I really don’t,” Skyles says. “It was sobering. It makes me proud of what these people do for me.”

The battalion’s chaplain called the Leander Chamber of Commerce to see if local churches would be interested in sponsoring the party. Skyles serves on the Chamber’s board and took responsibility for leading the event.

The event impacted the church as much as the families, Skyles says. “They’re coming back with ideas of how we can support the families.”

The congregation also will continue to support members of the battalion. “We want to start a soldier adoption program,” Skyles says. Church members will write letters and send packages to the troops.

Despite the ability to keep stay in touch through email, “It still encourages a soldier to have their name called out at mail call,” Skyles says.

The commanding officer was so thrilled with the work of the churches he presented Skyles with a Commander’s Coin.  “The coin is presented only by the commander and it recognizes a job well done,” Skyles says.

“The coin marks the history of the unit with symbols that signify who they are and where they’ve been.  When a coin is given to somebody, the entire history of the unit and of our armed forces are represented and symbolized.”

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