By Senior Airman Sean Mitchell
19th Space Operations Squadron
As part of Team Blackjack operating the GPS constellation, the 2nd and 19th Space Operations Squadrons are famous for providing position, navigation and timing, but they recently showed their ability to provide a little TLC as well.
Twelve volunteers from 2 and 19 SOPS logged 46 cumulative hours Feb. 17 at the Marian House Soup Kitchen in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where hot meals are provided to an average of 600 people a day, 365 days a year.
“The regular volunteers and the employees at the Marian House are always so nice and so helpful,” said 1st Lt. Elizabeth Townsend, GPS payload system operator and event coordinator event. “It feels great to help people get a good and healthy meal in for the day. The food they prepare is really good too.”
While about one-third of the Marian House guests are homeless, the majority include struggling families, seniors, the working poor, people with disabilities, unsupported teens and veterans. The soup kitchen has been helping the Colorado Springs community since 1985.
“The regular volunteers there were so happy to see us. They said, ‘we love it when Air Force people come volunteer,’” said Lt. Col. Karen Slocum, 19 SOPS director of operations. “They had tons of donated potatoes that they needed to use up, so they were happy to have so many extra hands because the potatoes are very time-consuming. I was amazed at the amount of donated food they get; they have a full-time chef who plans the entrees around what food gets donated. It was a lot of fun and many of us hope to return and volunteer there again.”
Townsend agreed, “Overall, the volunteer event was a great success. I heard from numerous people that they would like to make this at least a quarterly event, because they had so much fun.”