Glennville-based Clyde’s Market recently showed its support for Fort Stewart-Hunter Army Airfield soldiers and their families with a $20,000 donation to Stewart-Hunter’s Survivor Outreach Services.
During an informal ceremony held last Wednesday morning at Stewart’s Soldier and Family Services Center, Clyde’s CEO Greg Woolard signed the larger-than-life check to the installation’s Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation fund. On-hand to receive it was Stewart-Hunter Garrison Commander Col. Kevin Gregory and Garrison Command Sgt. Maj. Myron Lewis.
Woolard began by noting that his organization owns seven convenience stores in Hinesville and several others in the surrounding communities. They also plan to open a Rusty Pig Barbecue Restaurant in Hinesville in February. The new location will be Clyde’s third BBQ restaurant.
In addition to their annual Clyde’s Market Golf Classic donation, through Rusty Pig BBQ, Clyde’s has fed soldiers and family members free BBQ during July 4thcelebrations.
“I think this is the 9thor 10thyear doing this,” Woolard said. “It’s just a joy and privilege for our organization to do it. God has blessed us, so it’s our obligation to pass it forward.”
He added it was only right to “pass it forward” to the soldiers and family members who support their business. The donation was Clyde’s way of showing their appreciation to the soldiers for what they do for this country, he said.
“The military – not to mention what they do for us personally – they have a big impact on our organization,” he said. “We just want to show our gratitude for what they do for us. No other group of people deserve this more than the families of soldiers who’ve died in action.”
Woolard was asked what he’d say to other businesses about giving back to the community and especially to soldiers and their families. He reiterated that he believes he’s obligated to give as he is blessed. His advice to others is if they can afford to give, they should give.
“We definitely appreciate it,” Gregory told Woolard. “I know (this donation) means a lot to our staff here at SFAC and to our Survivor Outreach Services and Gold Star families. We have a little more than 600 (Gold Star) families to take care of here. This (donation) goes a long way toward doing that.
“We appreciate that your organization is giving back to the community, (and) you’re an integral part of this community as well. Thank you very much.”
Gregory said the donation would be used to supplement the help the installation provides through its Survivor Outreach Services to Gold Star families, whom he defined as “husbands, sons, daughters and wives of soldiers” who were killed in combat or died as part of their military service.
He said at least once every quarter, they invite Gold Star families back to Stewart-Hunter for luncheons or to be part of some installation event. This way, he said, the Army lets them know they’re still considered part of the Army family.
“Those families are near and dear to our hearts,” he said. “Many of them are families of the 468 soldiers represented at Warriors Walk. Some date back to World War II, Korea and Vietnam. We stay in contact with them because they’re part of who we are and our traditions in the military and military society.”
Gregory used the opportunity to invite the public to two upcoming ceremonies at Stewart’s Cottrell Field. On Friday, Dec. 12 at 6:30 p.m., he said there will be a tree burning ceremony for representative eastern redbud trees that once made up Warriors Walk.
At noon the following day, Dec. 13, there will be another special ceremony at Warriors Walk. A Christmas wreath will be laid at the foot of each crape myrtle tree, which now replace the redbud trees. Both ceremonies are open to the public, Gregory said.