What is the CSMR! CA Bear The California State Military Reserve is the official state defense force, and enables the Golden State to do more. It is a part of the California Military Department, along with the state’s National Guard and Air National Guard. Its mission is to augment the National Guard in a variety of support roles, and to specialize in homeland defense and emergency management missions. READ MORE ....

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By Staff Sgt. Jim Tortolano

Soldiers in the California State Military Reserve’s Southern Regional Support Command and their families can stick a fork into the old adage of “there is no free lunch.”

The annual SRSC Picnic and BBQ will be held this Saturday (Sept. 8) at the Joint Forces Training Base in Los Alamitos from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.  Soldiers and their families can dine at no cost at this event organized by the CSMR Chaplain Corps.

“It’s a time for fellowship and food,” said 1st Lt. Brenda Threatt. “It’s we chaplains doing the Christian thing serving our fellow human beings. Everyone is welcome.”

While the event will be non-denominational, it will open with a prayer by Capt. Chris Fowler, and remarks by Col. Donald Thornley, commander.

‘We expect about 150 Soldiers and another 50 family members for a total of 200 people,” said Threatt, who not only organized the event, but pioneered it in 2011.

This year the event will be held in the gazebo area near the new multi-purpose room, which doubles as a chapel.  That’s adjacent to Building 6.

The chapel will be open as well — in case anyone needs spiritual nourishment.

But otherwise “It’s a day to feed everyone’s stomach.” Thanks to donations and other fund-raising, Soldiers and their guests will be able to chow down at no cost to them on barbecued beef burgers, salmon burgers, sausage links, hot dogs, potato salad and more. Chips, soda and water will also be available.

Volunteers who want to help set up or cook are welcome. They are invited to “show up early” to report for duty.

Last year’s picnic was dampened a bit by some rain, but Threatt is confident that won’t happen this time. “We’ve already asked God for good weather,” she said.

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