Sunday, 03 March 2024

Operation Tango Mike plans packing party Sept. 25

Lake County native Eli Christopher sent thanks for recent care packages. Courtesy photo.


LAKE COUNTY – Autumn is not yet upon us but it is already time to purchase Halloween goodies and treats. No, it’s not to speed up the buying and selling of commercial goods or stimulate the economy. It’s time to pack Halloween care packages for our troops!

The next Operation Tango Mike packing party will be Sept. 25 at 6 p.m. at Umpqua Bank, 11th St., Lakeport. Knowing that we must allow lead time for delivery of care packages to combat zones, it is time to include Halloween and harvest season treats in the care packages.

Many of the deployed troops that are receiving care packages have sent along their sincere thanks. They are thankful not just for the items they receive, but for the support and love they feel, knowing someone cares.

Below are a few of the recently received messages from care package recipients.



Sgt. James Rayburn, who recently visited Lake County, sent thanks from Iraq. Courtesy photo.


Sgt. James Rayburn wrote, “I am sorry that I have not written sooner, but I have been real busy here since I got back from leave. All is good here (Just really really HOT!!!). The average temp has been 125 F. I am writing to say thank you again. I did get the boxes that you sent a while back and have been wanting to write and let you know that I did get them. I will no longer be able to get mail after Oct 2008. I only have about ** days left in country. Once again thank you and everyone for all the support that you show the troops. God bless you and everyone that has help with Operation Tango Mike.

SGT Rayburn, James”

Sgt. Shandell McClain shipped an American flag, accompanied by a beautiful full-color certificate, to her friends and supporters in Lake County. SGT McClain is a door gunner assigned to a Blackhawk helicopter. The certificate verified that the flag had been flown on the aircraft during a combat mission. Shandell has been very appreciative of all the supplies and support sent from Operation Tango Mike and sent the flag as an expression of her sincere gratitude.



Private First Class Nick Peterson said he and the men in his unit enjoy getting care packages from Operation Tango Mike. Courtesy photo.


SPC Nick Peterson wrote, “Hi, My name is Nick I just wanted to tell you how much I appreciate the time and effort you and the people there put into sending care packages over here. Me and the guys in my unit always enjoy getting them in the mail and we are always grateful that people are thinking of us. All the stuff that is sent to us is put to good use or eaten very quickly. Thank you again very much for keeping us in your thoughts and prayers.”

BU2 Eli Christopher wrote, “Hey there, well I got two packages today, perfect timing as always. Thank you so much. It was really cool to show all the guys the articles of me and my brother. Made my day. Thanks again.”

Although everyone supporting the efforts of Operation Tango Mike does it simply to support our troops with nothing expected in return, it is heartwarming to hear firsthand how the care packages are helpful and are appreciated.

As always, correspondence is needed as it is included in every care package. If you have a spare moment please use the time to jot down a note of support. You will be the one bringing a smile to the face of a service member far from home and loved ones. Drawings and colorings from the little ones are always appreciated and are found adorning the walls of tents, buildings and shelters throughout military installations.

Everyone is welcome to join in the troop support effort. You may deposit donated goods at any “Drop Zone” barrel location throughout Lake County, or in the lobby at Umpqua Bank. Anyone may participate in the packing parties, but must be warned that the activity is addicting. You will make new friends, have a great time and will feel really good about spending an evening supporting our troops. Children are welcome as we always encourage decorating the care packages to make them extra special.

If you have any questions please call 349-2838 or submit e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..


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