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Firefighters association shares holiday spirit with military families

Military families on Camp Pendleton received a surprise Christmas dinner thanks to members of the Fallbrook Firefighters Association (FFA) on December 23.

Two young members of the FFA, Matt Lindsey and Ben Lian, picked up enough ham and turkey dinners to feed 45 Camp Pendleton families on Christmas Day.

The idea to purchase the dinners for the armed forces families was shared throughout the firefighter association through email. Within a week and a half, $1,900 was donated from the pockets of those who wanted to provide something special for families that were far from their loved ones during the holiday.

“At first, we considered doing a toy drive,” said Lindsey, whose mother works as a kindergarten teacher on Base and helped connect the FFA with Marine and Family Services. “But there are not many local toy places we could have asked for donations from, so we decided that we would do a food drive.”

The FFA worked with the Marine and Family Services organization on Base to find families in need. The firefighters were able to purchase the meals, with side dishes and dessert, at a discounted price from Albertsons market in Fallbrook. Each box had a dinner large enough to feed six people.

“Albertsons really let us stretch out the amount of people we could buy for,” said Lian.

Lindsey realizes how meaningful even the smallest amount of support can be to a military family, as his brother was recently deployed to Afghanistan.

“Some military families, particularly young ones, have a family member overseas or have barely arrived back home and are here by themselves,” said Lindsey. “They shouldn’t have to go to McDonald’s and get a small meal from there for their Christmas meal. We want their Christmas to be special.”

The meal boxes were delivered to one of the Marine and Family Services sites on Camp Pendleton, then were delivered from their to various sites to be picked up by the families.

“We figured it was best to take this food to the families on Base so that they could have a good Christmas,” said Lian.

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