Camp Humphreys personnel come together for quarantined Soldiers

Photo By Sgt. 1st Class Corey Baltos | CAMP HUMPHREYS, Republic of Korea – The materials for a cookie making kit are laid out on a platter. Kits like this are being made by three home-based bakeries run by dependent personnel stationed at Camp Humphreys. The kits are being donated to Soldiers who are quarantined in barracks due to their exposure to the COVID 19 virus.

CAMP HUMPHREYS, Republic of Korea – In an effort to prevent the spread of the COVID 19 virus many Camp Humphreys based Soldiers have been sent to quarantine barracks for up to 14 days after being exposed to the virus. While the they receive medical attention as well as food many of the Soldiers feel isolated and lonely.

To combat this many groups on Camp Humphreys have banded together to provide creature comforts such as snacks, drinks and card games.

One of these groups is one that started out by members of the 719th Military Intelligence Battalion, 501st Military Intelligence Brigade’s Family Readiness Group.

“I was raised without out a whole lot,” said Sandra Budd, one of the 719th MI Battalion FRG members. “So, I always help those in need because I know what it is like to need something.”

Budd, and her fellow FRG members are helping out the quarantined Soldiers by providing them with “goodie bags” consisting of snacks, instant drink mixes and cards.

Budd said she came up with idea to provide snacks to quarantined Soldiers in her husband’s unit after she and her family were quarantined in their house for 72 hours following her husband being at a “hot spot”.

While quarantined in their house Budd and her husband, Command Sgt Maj Billy Budd, 714th MI battalion sergeant major, discussed his Soldiers who were in quarantine without the creature-comforts that the Budd’s had.

It was then that the idea to provide items for the Soldiers was born.

Budd, and other members of the unit’s FRG started buying and gathering items such as coffee packets, fruit, individual snack bags to give to the Soldiers from their unit in quarantine.

“What’s great is it just started out as people from our unit trying to help, but as word spread around more and more people joined us,” said Budd. “It really shows the support of the community.”

Other members of the Camp Humphreys community have found other ways to help out the Soldiers. Instead of buying goodies, they bake them.

Christina Harden, who runs a home-based bakery, said she got an request from one of her regular customers asking if she could make cookie kits for quarantined Soldiers. She thought that was a great idea, however when she found out how many Soldiers were in quarantine, she realized she needed help.

So, she called her fellow bakers, James Morris and Melinda Whitacre and asked them to help out. They both said “Yes.”

All three bakers are dependents of active duty military personnel here. Harden’s husband works at the Joint Security Area, United Nations Command. Morris’ father works at Eighth Army and Whitacre’s husband works for 6th Battalion, 52nd Air Defense artillery Regiment, 35th Air Defense Artillery Brigade.

For the past week the bakers have been busy making quarantine cookie kits, consisting of two cookies, a small container of frosting, homemade sprinkles and a plastic spoon to give to the Soldiers. They plan to keep it up as long as there are Soldiers in quarantine.

“We hope these kits will help boost the Soldiers morale,” said Whitacre.

For the members of the 719th FRG and the bakers, they hope that that their efforts will help people’s morale during this dark time.

“Hopefully, by doing what we can, we can mitigate the way people think about his time,” said Morris. “The hits keep on coming and this is one way we can hit back.”