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Bob Lind, Published January 12 2009

MANNA flows to military family

The original manna was food God provided for the Israelites when they were far from home.

This MANNA is a group providing spiritual, emotional and practical support-type food for men and women in military service who also are far from home.

MANNA in this case stands for Marines/Army/Navy/National Guard, Coast Guard & Reserves/Air Force. It meets monthly at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Moorhead to pray for military personnel and to do a number of other things to support them and their families.

They have a military prayer chain; they send boxes and cards to military personnel and their families; they link families to community resources; the list goes on and on.

Probably all MANNA members have military stories. This is just one of them: that of the family of George and Marian Greenwood of Moorhead, a military family if there ever was one.

Here’s the Greenwood family roll call:

George – Served in the Air Force for two years during the Korean War.

George and Marian’s sons – Maj. Herbert Greenwood, now of Loveland, Colo., and Maj. Jeffrey Greenwood, Colorado Springs, Colo. Herbert, now retired, was an Air Force pilot for 20 years and served during Desert Storm. Jeffrey has been in the Air Force for 13 years, served in Afghanistan for six months in 2005 during Operation Enduring Freedom and now is a counselor to cadets at the Air Force Academy near Colorado Springs.

Three sons-in-law of George and Marian – Thomas Adams of Florissant, Colo., in the Air Force for 20 years, including the Vietnam War, now retired; Chief Master Sgt. Robert Thom, Newport News, Va., a 28-year Air Force veteran now serving as a career enlisted aviator manager at Langley Air Force Base, Va.; and Lt. Col. Jeffery Schaff, Albuquerque, N.M., retired after 20 years in the Air Force.

Four grandchildren – Capt. Kevin Greenwood, Wellington, Colo., an Air Force navigator for six years who was deployed to Iraq in December; Capt. Nick Bowar, Omaha, Neb., an Air Force navigator for four years who was deployed to Qatar in December; Capt. Jennifer Greenwood, Chicago, an anesthetist in the Army for seven years and who just returned from Germany; and Spc. Christopher Adams, Fort Lewis, Wash., who has been in satellite communications in the Army for two years and who spent a year in Kuwait.

A daughter-in-law, Maj. Nicole Greenwood, Colorado Springs, in the Air Force for 10 years.

Nicole’s father, Sgt. Barry Foster, Canon City, Colo., an Air Force engineering instructor, now retired.

And Marian’s brother-in-law, John Steer, Mountain Home, Ark., who was in the Army in Vietnam during the war, was wounded, received the Purple Heart and other medals and has written two books: “Vietnam: Curse or Blessing” and “Wounded Soldier.”

There you have one family, some members of which are still in the service and much on the minds and in the prayers of the folks from MANNA.

If you have an item of interest for this column, mail it to Neighbors, The Forum, Box 2020, Fargo, N.D. 58107; fax it to 241-5487; or e-mail blind@forumcomm.com