Saluting Troops with Jerky - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

Saluting Troops with Jerky

Shipment leads to shared respect



    (Published Friday, Jan. 28, 2011)

    by Bruce Felps

    Patti Gardner of Fairfield, watches NBCDFW news every day. She also thinks of her son, gunnery Sgt. Christopher P. Welch, a Marine deployed to Afghanistan, every day.

    Those two aspects come together right here in a story that involves jerky, a smokehouse in Centerville, and an American flag that traveled halfway or more around the world. It also involves mutual respect and support.

    Welch joined the Marines 15 years ago. Garner makes a point of having a few pounds of jerky from Woody’s Smokehouse shipped to him for each of his birthdays, the most recent, Nov. 28, being no exception.

    Welch shared the treat with fellow Marines in his unit, and everyone enjoyed a brief respite from the war.

    The owners of Woody’s decided to sponsor the unit for Christmas and shipped an unspecified number of pounds — let’s just say a whole freakin’ lot — of smoked goodness to the Marines.

    The Marines, in turn, thanked the folks at Woody’s by flying an American flag over the unit, ceremoniously lowering the flag, packing it up with a certificate of authenticity, and shipping it to the Gardner family for personal delivery.

    Patti Gardner, her husband, Joel, and daughter Shawnda Lawless made the drive down Interstate 45 from Fairfield to Centerville Jan. 23 and presented the flag and certificate to the Woods family, owners of Woody’s.

    The circle of support and respect became complete.

    Bruce Felps owns and operatesEast Dallas Times, an online community news outlet serving the White Rock Lake area. He could dig on a little jerky. Goes with his personality.