FORT BRAGG, N.C. – During the holiday season, the warmth and comfort of family are cherished by all, regardless of culture or religion. However, this time of the year can be especially difficult for those families and individuals struggling to make ends meet, or are in need. That is why it is vital for communities, organizations, and individuals to come together to do their part.
This is the main focus and heart of Fort Bragg’s Operation Toy Drop, a charitable-donation incentive program for soldiers on base to bring a toy, receive a ticket to be entered for the chance to earn their Jump Wings with an International Jump Master, and give back to those who need it the most in the spirit of giving.
For a soldier, the chance to earn your Foreign Jump Wings is truly a special honor, regardless of it being your first time or being a seasoned pro.
The first group of Paratroopers have exited the aircraft as part of Operation Toy Drop.
This is the 21st annual Randy Oler Memorial Operation Toy Drop and is a combined airborne training event with 13 countries involved in jumpmaster duties. #AATW #OperationToyDrop #HoHoHo pic.twitter.com/hssCUBPHtA
— All American Division (@82ndABNDiv) December 1, 2018
That’s why the Fayetteville Marksmen organization is so proud and honored to have been able to be part of Operation Toy Drop Weekend with Fort Bragg.
The event partnership and execution was set up by Marksmen Community Relations/Events Coordinator Aaron Hanrick and Sergeant First Class Crofoot, as the two saw a necessity for their organizations and communities to create a lasting-bond to grow together.
“Our mission as an organization in Community Relations, and in our community itself, is to serve with a purpose. This is exactly what Operation Toy Drop does, and to be able to work alongside them was an absolute honor. My goal in this position has been to reestablish a presence with Fort Bragg, and put the military community and heroes at the forefront of our operation,” said Hanrick “I feel like we took a step in the right direction in being able to be part of this, and we are especially excited about being as involved as we can, with events like Operation Toy Drop, and seeing what we can accomplish together in the years ahead.”
On Friday morning, Community Relations/Events Coordinator Aaron Hanrick and Director of Marketing Shawn Bednard – alongside the wonderful Marksmen Hunnies cheerleaders – set up an information table in the donation area where toys were brought in and soldiers waited for their chance to have their “lottery” ticket number called. During this time, we assisted the volunteers and soldiers in sorting toys into proper boxes based on age and gender specifics of the donated item.
The Marksmen Hunnies had an amazing morning on @FtBraggNC with our @Marksmen_Hockey at Operation Toy Drop!#Marksmen #MarksmenHunnies #Fayetteville #FortBragg #OperationToyDrop #FayettevilleStrong #WeCare #GiveBack #ToyDrive #OurHeartsAreFull #HeatUpWithTheHunnies pic.twitter.com/ra43AGuDOq
— Hunnies Cheerleaders (@HunniesCheer) November 30, 2018
On Saturday morning, after the selected Soldiers were drawn, it was time for the jump. Hanrick and Bednard – alongside our World Famous Fox Marky Marksmen – found their way to Sicily Drop Zone, setting up next to the FRG table to hand out FREE tickets to our American Heroes and their families for tonight’s Faith & Family Night game.
During the course of the morning, the Marksmen met with many soldiers and their superiors, and were able to observe the special honor that was a soldier’s jump with an International Jump Master.
In an even more unexpected part of the day, S.F.C. Crofoot coordinated with Canadian and German Jump Masters to present their respective countries’ Foreign Jump Wings to be pinned in the traditional way onto the jersey of our very own Marky.
Close up of the German (top) and Canadian (bottom) jump wings. pic.twitter.com/IdFojlh6we
— Fayetteville Marksmen (@Marksmen_Hockey) December 1, 2018
These Foreign Jump Wings will stay pinned to Marky’s jersey as a sign of honor and as a token of respect and appreciation for the sacrifice of our troops who serve all around the world.
Our organization is absolutely honored to have been a part of another successful and outstanding Operation Toy Drop, and for the ability to be able to work closely with Fort Bragg now and for a bright future together.
The Marksmen are back home Saturday, December 1 for Faith & Family Night. Tickets are available now by calling the Marksmen office at (910) 321-0123 or clicking on the date above!
For more information on the night, head to our Facebook page and click on the event page.
If you’re interested in partnering up with the Marksmen organization, or hearing about our season ticket packages, group packages, mini-plans, or advertising benefits in-arena or with the broadcast, email Director of Digital Marketing and Media Shawn Bednard, SBednard@MarksmenHockey.com or call the Marksmen Office at (910) 321-0123.
Follow the Marksmen on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for all the latest news and information surrounding the team. Search and follow “Marksmen Hockey” for behind-the-scenes content, player and coaches interviews, and much more!
The Fayetteville Marksmen are owned and operated by Union Pro Hockey Group and play their home games at Crown Coliseum. The Marksmen are a committed community asset, designed to provide premium entertainment to families and individuals in Cumberland County and surrounding areas.