FORT CARSON, Colo. - Fort Carson soldiers participated in the seventh annual Operation Stryker Christmas, which helps families in need for the holiday season.
"We stepped out and walked about 25 miles, and here we are," said Gregory Homan, a soldier.
Homan participated in the 25 mile ruck march, walking in bitter cold weather, carrying his rucksacks filled with donations.
"I got some for the kids, some for the adults, some for boys and girls," he said.
Dressed in holiday spirit, soldiers marched from the Mountain Post to the Marion House in downtown Colorado Springs.
"We're doing this to give back to the community. We're doing this, because we're proud of our heritage," said Kyle Parker, another solider.
Families in need lined up early at the Marion House. James Wilson was one of the first recipients to arrive at 6 a.m. He was there to get his stepdaughter's Christmas gift and food for his family.
"I think it's wonderful. They didn't have to do this, but they do it anyway. Just like they don't have to fight for our country but they do it anyway," Wilson said.
Categories of items for families to choose from included food, toys, clothing and more.
"I know how cold it gets out here. Someone will really enjoy having a thick coat like this," said Juawine Sowell, a solider.
This year was Sowell's first ruck march.
"I really couldn't feel my feet, but I kept going, because this is all worth it getting to see all the people smile," he said.
Stryker Operation Christmas will help more than 2,000 families in southern Colorado.
"It's awesome. Thank you," Wilson said.
Last year, soldiers raised over 2.6 tons of donations.