Sending Holiday Cheer to Those Who Serve

Sending Holiday Cheer to Those Who Serve

At the beginning of November, it seems a bit too early to have holiday music fill a room. Yet last Thursday at Lockheed Martin’s Information Systems and Global Solutions (IS&GS) facility in Colorado Springs, employees sported their festive colors, donned holiday apparel and hummed along to “Let it Snow,”—all in the name of a good cause.

Together, United Service Organizations (USO), Shriever Air Force Base, Lockheed Martin IS&GS and Space Systems volunteers packed 100 large USO holiday care packages. The boxes of holiday cheer will be shared this December with nearly 5,000 military servicemen and women deployed across the world who are unable to be home for the holidays.

“My dad is a Vietnam veteran, and I come from a military family, so the work that the USO does is very close to my heart,” said Colorado State Representative Dan Nordberg. “When you give back to the men and women overseas, it may seem like we’re giving them simple things. But it’s the simple things they miss the most from home—the DVDs, the candy and other items that are not easily accessible when you’re deployed.”

Rep. Nordberg helped Lockheed Martin volunteers pack the care packages with goodies like holiday decorations, New Year’s items, pocket flags and banners of appreciation signed by Lockheed Martin employees. It was an impressive scene, with boxes nearly piled up to the ceiling and hundreds of holiday items filling the room.

USO Blake Davis (left), an engineering director at Lockheed Martin IS&GS and Mark Stewart (right), a vice president at Lockheed Martin Space Systems, busy stuffing the holiday care packages.

“It’s so important that men and women overseas know that they’re supported—no matter where they are,” said Kristin Green, USO account representative. “We just can’t thank you enough for helping us here today.”

The USO holiday care package program was developed by the USO to not only provide a touch of home during holidays, but to also spread holiday cheer for servicemen and women stationed in remote locations without USO centers. Each year, Lockheed Martin hosts employee volunteer events across the United States to assemble traditional USO care packages and holiday packages. Since 2008, Lockheed Martin volunteers have prepared more than 195,000 USO care packages for individual military service members and more than 500 USO holiday boxes for as many as 25,000 military service members.

Mark Stewart, vice president of Navigation Systems at Lockheed Martin Space Systems, was on hand to assemble care packages at the event. “It’s always great when we can partner with other organizations to make an even greater community impact,” he offered. “We’re honored to be a part of such an important holiday tradition in support of the USO and our troops.”

November 3, 2015