Commissary competition shows Soldiers’ appreciation

Story and photo by Rick Scavetta
U.S. Army Garrison Kaiserslautern

Soldiers at U.S. Army Garrison Kaiserslautern showed their appreciation for their local commissary by adding groceries to their morning physical training.
Dozens of troops took part in Commissary Appreciation Day, held June 24 at the Vogelweh Commissary. The garrison’s Better Opportunities for Single Soldiers program supported the annual event.

“The commissary does so much for the community, it’s nice to go out and show them support,” said Spc. Sara Ferraro, the garrison BOSS president. “Everybody had fun and it was good for morale.”

The morning began with shopping cart relay races around a nearby track. Then, Soldiers raced a lap while balancing an egg on a spoon clenched in their teeth. A pushup competition was made more interesting when Soldiers pressed to muscle failure with heavy sacks of dog food on their shoulders.

Soldiers worked up an appetite from the early events and broke for breakfast. They saved a few eggs for a toss that left several troops with handfuls of yolks. Sgt. Mark Arnett, a garrison military police Soldier, couldn’t remember having so much fun at the commissary, he said, even if it meant having an egg splatter over his head.

“It was surprising, to say the least, having egg goo running down my shoulder,” he said, adding that U.S. Army Garrison Kaiserslautern won the overall toss, despite his miss. 

Afterward, Soldiers moved inside the commissary to compete in a shopping spree. Working in teams of three, they had two minutes to fill a cart. The highest dollar value would win. Two teams racked up bills of more than $1,000. The garrison team, who won last year, had just half that amount, focusing on what appeared to be summer barbecue supplies.

In the end, it didn’t matter. The Vogelweh Commissary — part of the Kaiserslautern-headquartered Defense Commissary Agency Europe — allowed each team to keep their haul.

“It’s our business to support events like this through our industry partners,” said DeCA Europe spokeswoman Leslie Brown. “If it weren’t for the military men and women, we wouldn’t have a mission. We appreciate their patronage and their service to our country.”