America Supports You: San Diego Military Families Get Bikes
By Petty Officer 1st Class Heather W. Hines, USN
Special to American Forces Press Service
SAN DIEGO, Dec. 22, 2004 More than 750 children of military families all over the San Diego area will receive a special holiday gift courtesy of the San Diego United Service Organizations and BAE Systems company.
BAE donated 766 bicycles to the USO to present to local military families. This marked the 10th year that BAE Systems donated bicycles to military families in San Diego.
The commander of Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet, Vice Adm. Tim LaFleur, was on hand to thank the USO and BAE Systems employees for the generous donation. "To see the heartfelt effort put into making this bigger and better every year is spectacular," LaFleur said.
"While our sailors and Marines are standing the watch and patrolling the streets in Iraq, it gets tough when they think about their families during the holiday season," he added. "With help from BAE and USO, those concerns are diminished because they know their families are being taken care of in a very special way."
Naval Surface Force Pacific contacted ships' command master chiefs requesting they identify sailors who were in need of bikes. When the list was compiled, each ship then designated a sailor to collect the bikes and helmets from a central distribution point, Regional Support Organization San Diego.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Carlos Parra Jr. was designated as USS Stethem's representative. "I think this is an excellent opportunity to help out military families and bring cheer to the Christmas season," said the San Diego native.
(Navy Petty Officer 1st Class Heather W. Hines is assigned to the Public Affairs Office of the Naval Surface Force, U.S. Pacific Fleet.)