Fort Meade, MD (WUSA9)--Money is tight for a lot of military families. So much so that two out of three middle-class military families say they will be scaling back their holiday celebrations this year. This information comes from a survey conducted by First Command Financial Services, a Texas based company that helps military personnel with financial planning.
The USO Metropolitan Washington is trying to make sure no military family has to go without this holiday season. Thus Turkeys for Troops. It's a program that provides a holiday food basket for local members of the armed forces.
Destiny Miller is an Army wife.
"People need to know things are reallytough right now," says Destiny.
It's the last Thursday in October. Halloween. Like the last Thursday every month, the Maryland Food Bank pulls up to the USO Center at Fort Meade. A driver off loads hundreds of pounds of food--vegetables, bread goods and snack items.
Before the packs can be opened, a line of military families are waiting in line for the free food.
Destiny helps guide those in line and offers her support. "There's a lot out there to help your family," she says toa young mother.
"I usually just kind of go down the line and welcome everybody. Just make them comfortable being here. I want them to feel comfortable. I want them to know that it is okay. It's okay to need help."
Destiny knows what it's like to be afraid to ask for help. To wear your emotions on your sleeve.
"Laura, the manager here, she could definitely see in my face not only did I need food, I needed a hug. She knew I needed a hug that said we're here. It's okay. It's okay to hurt."
Destiny and her husband arrived in Maryland 5 months ago. They had just $20 to their name. A broken car, and no place to stay. His Sergeant took them in. The USO Metropolitan Washington gave the hug and the food.
"Everybody needs to know that times are tough. Times are really tough," says Destiny.
The homefront help means all the world to Destiny. She and her husband are getting back on their feet. But they, like so many other military families, are still in need of help this holiday season. Turkeys for Troops could not be coming at a better time.
"It means a lot. It means my husband and I get to have that comfort of having such a wonderful family oriented holiday. Knowing that we are going to have something to eat," says Destiny. "And its wonderful to know that there is people out there who take that time to donate what they can to help us out.