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Eielson participates in OPERATION Turkey Drop

First Sergeants from the 354th Fighter Wing assemble packages for OPERATION Turkey Drop on Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, Nov. 13, 2020. OPERATION Turkey Drop is an event that aims to give Air Force families a turkey and some fix-ins for their Thanksgiving meal. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Beaux Hebert)

First Sergeants from the 354th Fighter Wing assemble packages for OPERATION Turkey Drop on Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, Nov. 13, 2020. OPERATION Turkey Drop is an event that aims to give Air Force families a turkey and some fix-ins for their Thanksgiving meal. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Beaux Hebert)

First Sergeants from the 354th Fighter Wing assemble packages for OPERATION Turkey Drop on Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, Nov. 13, 2020. The contents of the packages included a turkey, a commissary gift card and a thank you message. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Beaux Hebert)

First Sergeants from the 354th Fighter Wing assemble packages for OPERATION Turkey Drop on Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, Nov. 13, 2020. The contents of the packages included a turkey, a commissary gift card and a thank you message. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Beaux Hebert)

First Sergeants from the 354th Fighter Wing prepare to deliver packages for OPERATION Turkey Drop on Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, Nov. 13, 2020. Once assembled and loaded, the First Sergeants distributed the packages to young Air Force families around the base. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Beaux Hebert)

First Sergeants from the 354th Fighter Wing prepare to deliver packages for OPERATION Turkey Drop on Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, Nov. 13, 2020. Once assembled and loaded, the First Sergeants distributed the packages to young Air Force families around the base. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Beaux Hebert)

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Dwain Henderson, the 354th Medical Group first sergeant, delivers a package to an Airman as part of OPERATION Turkey Drop on Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, Nov. 13, 2020. In total, 283 turkeys were delivered to young Airmen across Eielson. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Beaux Hebert)

U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Dwain Henderson, the 354th Medical Group first sergeant, delivers a package to an Airman as part of OPERATION Turkey Drop on Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska, Nov. 13, 2020. In total, 283 turkeys were delivered to young Airmen across Eielson. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Beaux Hebert)

EIELSON AIR FORCE, Alaska --

The season to give thanks is upon us and Eielson First Sergeants led the way with OPERATION Turkey Drop.

Created more than a decade ago, the purpose of the event is to provide a Thanksgiving meal to Airmen and their families as a token of appreciation for their hard work and dedication to the 354th Fighter Wing mission. This year the first sergeants council handed out 283 turkeys. 

“OPERATION Turkey Drop is about giving to others to show love and support for what they do for the base,” said U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Justin Holmly, the 354th Contracting Squadron first sergeant.

Eielson First Sergeants gathered at the base commissary and assembled bags with a turkey, a gift card and a thank you message. Bags in hand, they set out to the various squadrons to deliver them to Airmen. Among those who received a turkey was Senior Airman Ibrahim Kumenda.

“I’m really excited for my family this year,” said Kumenda, a 354th Healthcare Operations Squadron Family Health technician. “[Receiving this gift] shows how much my leadership cares about me and my family.” 

For the first sergeants and other turkey drop volunteers, the experience and opportunity to give thanks and show appreciation to their fellow Airmen proves to be rewarding.

“I enjoy being able to show Airmen and their families we care about them,” said Master Sgt. Joshua LeGuillon, the 354th Fighter Wing Staff Agency first sergeant. “Once you come to Eielson, you automatically join a family that has your back.”