Local News

'It's actually a blessing:' Children of Ft. Bragg soldiers receive new bicycles

Posted November 9, 2017 5:57 p.m. EST

— Christmas came early for dozens of children from military families at Fort Bragg on Thursday when two organizations gave away bicycles to some very surprised kids.

Specialist Travis Murphy works in Army communications, but on Thursday he was a bicycle mechanic. On Christmas, he may just be the world’s greatest dad in the eyes of his 5-year-old daughter.

“I’m planning on giving it to her on Christmas, so I’m going to be trying to sneak this into the house as quietly as possible,” he said.

Murphy is one of 75 military families who received brand new bicycles from the USO of North Carolina and Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina.

“The Blue Cross Blue Shield family of North Carolina wants to let those children know how important they are and make their holiday or whatever season even more special,” said Kathy Bull with the USO of North Carolina.

Specialist Brandon Meissner is a Blackhawk mechanic. He and his wife have two children, and their two-year-old daughter got her first bike Thursday.

“We’re very blessed for things like that, just opportunities for soldiers having it a little tough on the holidays,” Meissner said. “It’s actually a blessing.”

Corrine Contreres, a military wife, loaded up her car with bikes for six of her seven children.

“Families in the military are separated all the time and moments like this, where we can bring some excitement, especially around this time of year, helps out the families,” she said. “It takes the stress off the parents a little bit and blesses the children as well.”