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If you think you have a big Thanksgiving spread, American Legion Post 38 in Fountain might have you beat.

The Legionnaires have amassed 100 turkeys and all the trimmings. The food is part of an annual giveaway to help needy families in the neighborhood.

Post spokesman Cornell Penn said the Legion started working on the Thanksgiving meals months ago.

“We have been working on this for quite some time,” he said.

The Legion partners with Fountain police who identify needy families through work with community partners.

Just storing the 100 birds is a challenge, Penn said.

“Luckily we have a couple of big deep freezers,” he said.

This weekend, the Legion Riders will join with Fountain cops to deliver the meals to families in a rumbling two-wheel spectacle. Penn says he has a motorcycle big enough to hold a bird. Others will need help from four-wheeled friends.

The community service follows a trend among veteran service organizations seeking to woo the altruistic crowd that fought in Iraq and Afghanistan.

In their first century, Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Legion primarily existed as social hubs where veterans could come together for camaraderie.

Now, young veterans want to do something more impactful with their time, and community service projects such as the turkey giveaway can draw a crowd.

The Legion is far from alone in giving away Thanksgiving rations.

Operation Homefront came to Colorado Springs last week to give food to 300 military families identified by local bases.

It’s party of Operation Homefront’s annual Meals for Military program.

“Military families will receive a frozen turkey and a tote full of all the fixings for a thanksgiving meal plus a pumpkin pie. Children will be able to select a holiday toy as well,” the charity said in a news release.

Operation Homefront is closing in on giving away its 400,000th holiday meal.

The holiday might be happiest at Fort Carson, where planeloads of soldiers have returned home in recent days from Afghanistan The post’s 2nd Brigade Combat Team is wrapping up nine months of work split between Afghanistan and Kosovo. They will be followed home by the post’s 1st Brigade Combat Team, also serving in Afghanistan.

But for every warm welcome on the post, there is a farewell.

The headquarters of Fort Carson’s 4th Infantry Division is heading to Afghanistan in the coming weeks.

They will be followed overseas by the post’s 3rd Brigade Combat team next spring, which is headed to Kuwait as tensions simmer in the Middle East.

Contact Tom Roeder: 636-0240 Twitter: @xroederx

Contact Tom Roeder: 636-0240

Twitter: @xroederx

Senior Military Editor

Tom Roeder is the Gazette's senior military editor. In Colorado Springs since 2003, Tom covers seven military installations in Colorado, including five in the Pikes Peak region. His main job, though, is being dad to two great kids.

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