|Brianna Dutcher announced that she had been appointed to the United States Air Force Academy at the May 2012 Operation Tango Mike packing party in Lakeport, Calif. Photo courtesy of Ginny Craven.|
LAKEPORT – The May packing party brought out a number of very special guests for Operation Tango Mike.
Brianna Dutcher, just home from a year at New Mexico Military Institute, announced that she had been appointed to the United States Air Force Academy. Dutcher is a Clear Lake High School alumna.
Laura Wold, home from Armstrong Atlantic State University in Savannah, Georgia, where she is studying via a Navy ROTC scholarship, announced that she has been accepted to the nursing program. Wold is an Upper Lake High School alum.
Sergeant First Class Charles Cossette, just home from his fifth deployment, attended with his family. Cossette, assigned to Explosives Ordnance Disposal (EOD) told the crowd that his soldiers had to deal with an average of six to twelve improvised explosive devices (IEDs) every day of their deployment.
Cossette, who had been surprised with a welcome home reception earlier in the week, expressed his gratitude for the homecoming, the care packages, and most of all for the community’s support. He explained, as only a veteran of deployments could, how much every card, letter and care package impacted him.
Marine David Gonzalez, a local recruiter, was in attendance with a large contingent of poolees, young men and women in the delayed entry program. They pitched in, packing boxes and supporting the troops.
In addition to the personal visits, a number of messages of gratitude have been received from the frontlines.
Matthew Ochoa wrote, “My name is SSgt Matthew Ochoa. I would like to thank you from the bottom of my heart for all of your support. I have received care packages from you on 2 separate deployments, multiple ones on the one I am currently on. I don’t know if you know how much of an impact it makes on us out here to get packages from stateside. There isn’t always much to smile about in a deployed environment, but being on the receiving end of your hard work, getting that package. It warms the heart, and puts a much needed smile on faces out here. I would like to send a special shout out to whomever is donating the Thin Mint Girl Scout Cookies, THANK YOU!!! Best wishes to you all and thanks again, Staff Sergeant Matthew Ochoa.”
David Combs put it like this, “You guys send some great care packages. Keep up the good work. 764 EOD 1st Platoon loves you.”
|Sergeant First Class Charles Cossette, home from his fifth deployment, and his young son at the May 2012 Operation Tango Mike packing party in Lakeport, Calif. Photo courtesy of Ginny Craven.|
No one prepares a care package, writes a letter or donates an item with the expectation of thanks from our troops. However, hearing from those serving in faraway lands in difficult conditions, extreme temperatures and dangerous situations is heartwarming.
The gratitude expressed serves to motivate individuals to continue the effort to support those who are sacrificing time away from their families in service to our country.
Operation Tango Mike will host SUDS-4-SOLDIERS, a car wash, on Saturday, June 30th from 8 a.m. to noon at Umpqua Bank, 805 11th Street, Lakeport.
Proceeds will pay shipping fees which average $800-$1,000 per month.
Donations for shipping fees and to purchase items to fill care packages are always welcome and may be mailed to Operation Tango Mike, 5216 Piner Court, Kelseyville, CA 95451 or may be made at Umpqua Bank, or at www.operationtangomike.org .
The June packing party will take place on Thursday at 6 p.m. at Umpqua Bank. Everyone is welcome to join in the fun.
To add a name to the care package recipient list or for more information, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 707-349-2838.
|Marine David Gonzalez packed a box of supplies at the May 2012 Operation Tango Mike packing party in Lakeport, Calif. Photo courtesy of Ginny Craven.|