Community Rallies Together To Support Soldiers, Celebrate Thanksgiving


It was a ceremony to show thanks Sunday at the Rector Community Center.
In it's seventh year, the annual Community Thanksgiving Service is a celebration of the people who do what they can to make this town what it is ... a cohesive unit of men and women who come out to celebrate together.
Honored at this year's event were members of both the 875th Engineer Batallion and the 39th Infantry Division, which is set for deployment sometime early next year.

"We're very thankful to the 39th, which are about to go over there," said featured speaker, Bro. Marston Carpenter.

Rector's Mayor Ron Kemp says people come out to this service not just from Rector, but surrounding areas like Walnut Ridge, which he says illustrates the point, that here community is key.

"Participation that we have here shows the strength of our churches," said Mayor Kemp. "In our community, the tremendous participation and the attendance is great for a town this size."

For National Guard Staff Seargant Joel Hayes' wife, who heads up a women's support group for war wives, that sentiment of community togetherness is something she says she's very thankful for this holiday.

"Deployments are very tough and they can be very trying," said Kristie Hayes. "So, our main goal is to make sure they have somebody to lean on during this time."

Donations are now being taken for soldier care packages.

As a part of Operation "Dadbags" normal, everyday items will be sent to members of the 39th Infantry Division.

"Just anything that we think they need, things that we all take for granted at home," said volunteer Ruth Wimberley. "We want to share with them and let them know that they are remembered and we appreciate the job that they're doing."

To donate to Operation "Dadbags" contact the Rector Community Center at (870) 595-2188

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