Bass Pro Shops honors Fort Leonard Wood soldiers at Springfield luncheon

Published: Dec. 28, 2022 at 12:25 PM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - Bass Pros shops hosted servicemen and women from Fort Leonard Wood on Wednesday for a holiday meal.

Many service members from the post could not make it home to their families for the holidays.

“It doesn’t really matter how hard or easy it is to put on an event like this for our folks,” said Lee Beasley, Senior Marketing General Manager with Bass Pro. “But whatever we can do to make them feel special. Because we get to do what we do every day because of folks like that, it’s really near and dear to our hearts.”

Nearly 200 troops, including officers, were in attendance Wednesday, a part of a longstanding tradition held this time each year by Bass Pro.

“It warms my heart. It makes us feel very welcome and appreciated,” said Private First Class (PFC) Coraly Charles. “Basic training can be very tough sometimes, and to know people really appreciate you and care about you and care about your holiday and your well-being is really nice to experience.”

PFC Charles is first generation descendant of Haiti, now going through basic training at Fort Leonard Wood. She says this is the first Christmas she could not have any contact with her family.

“Christmas means family, love, and care,” said PFC Charles. “This is not the first Christmas that I haven’t been able to spend with my family. I travel a lot as well. But this was the first Christmas we weren’t able to face time as a family together.

After enjoying a meal, troops also toured Bass Pro Shops and Wonders of Wildlife Aquarium.

“It is in a direct path of what we do,” said Beasley. “If we didn’t do something like this, we wouldn’t be doing what we should be doing, and really what everyone should be doing. To give back and thank those who allow us to, again, do what we do.”

After surprising ten disabled veterans with specially adapted homes in 2021, Bass Pro founder Johnny Morris announced a 100-home pledge in partnership with Helping a Hero. Morris committed to covering 25 percent of another 100 homes. He encouraged Americans to participate in the organization’s Wounded Hero Home Program. CLICK HERE for more information.

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