Christmas Tailgate, from Oakland Township to Fort Hood

Christmas Tailgate

Leanna Kavanagh of Oakland Township, is taking Christmas to her son. Ryan Michael Williams serves as a soldier in the U.S. Army. He is stationed at Fort Hood in Texas. As part of the rapid response force, his infantry company must be within three hours of base at any given time. In addition, the base has shortened hours for the dining facilities at Christmas, so few options are available for the bachelor soldiers of Fort Hood.

Ryan Michael Williams with Mom, Leanna Kavanagh and Gary Kavanagh

Ryan Michael Williams with Mom, Leanna Kavanagh and Gary Kavanagh

Leanna is borrowing an RV, filling it with goodies from home, and driving to the base to set-up a Christmas tailgate in the parking lot for the men. She was given the go ahead from the commanding officer, and now the plan is in motion.

Home Cooked Dinner

Family and friends are flying in to help with preparing the meal for some 200 men. The infantry is mostly unmarried men, around 19 years old, and come from all over the country. Base pay is $1,700 per month and soldiers must pay for their own uniforms, phone, cable and internet. A home cooked meal for the holidays is sure to boost morale.

Collection Sites

All around town Leanna has set up collection bins to “Support the Troops.” They are collecting socks, underwear, sporting equipment and more. Here is list of collections sites:

Goodison Cider Mill in Rochester Hills

Salon 429 in Rochester

Michigan Securities in Southfield

Financial Benefits Group in Auburn Hills

Delta Kelly in Rochester Hills


Girl Scouts Decorate 250 Stockings for the Christmas Tailgate

Girl Scouts Decorate 250 Stockings for the Christmas Tailgate

Donations Made

Several entities have stepped forward to help. Pepsi is donating 12 cases of soda. Dearborn Sausage is providing the hams for the dinner. Dentists on Main is donating toothbrushes. In addition, DTE has given playing cards, notebooks and pens.

A local Girl Scouts Troop has decorated 250 Christmas Stockings for all the small “stocking stuffers” that are coming in.

Want to help?

Stop by one of the collections sites to make a donation. For more information, contact Leanna Kavanagh by phone at 248-652-1096 or by email at Check-out the event’s Facebook Page.


About Michael Dwyer

Michael Dwyer is a freelance content provider. Michael writes about happenings in the Rochester area, travels across Michigan and destinations around the world. Contact him at

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