TWO HUNDRED CARE PACKAGES ASSEMBLED
FOR ANNUAL OPERATION AFGHAN IRAQ PACK MISSION
On December 6, the Oakland County Bar Association’s (OCBA) Veterans Committee, led by Chairman Elias J. Escobedo, Jr., issued its fourth annual challenge to OCBA committees and members to out-fundraise them in their collection of items for military men and women serving in Afghanistan and Iraq.
This year's Operation Afghan Iraq Pack effort smashed all records after collecting close to $55,000 in cash and donated items. Twenty-three deployed units were supported with close to 200 care packages shipped in the final weeks of March. After all care packages are assembled, 220 will have been shipped to support our heroes.
The collection effort was formally launched at the Association’s sell-out Annual Holiday Gala. Thereafter, three collection dates were held at the Oakland County Courthouse where items and cash donations were accepted.
Operation Afghan Iraq Pack Subcommittee Co-Chairman Michael Schloff stated, “The more than 3,000 lawyers of the OCBA care very deeply about our men and women on deployment in Iraq and Afghanistan. Many of our members have served in combat in Korea, Vietnam, Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan and deeply identify with what these modern American heroes are experiencing overseas. For all of us, this is a labor of love.”
New to this year’s effort, a number of law firms, parishes, student groups, and the Oakland County Road Commission (OCRC) undertook collections to support the project as well. Veterans Committee member Eric Wilson, also a member of the OCRC, enlisted the staff at the OCRC as well in their call to action, collecting an additional truck load of items including personal care items and nonperishable food.
The Oakland County Road Commission also supported the effort by making a truck and manpower available to pick up the purchased items from the Selfridge Air National Guard Base commissary and base exchange. For the third year, Farmington Hills-based Corrigan Moving Systems supported the effort by delivering and making a storage unit available to hold the donated items and then move them to Livonia for unloading and distribution. GM’s Cell Phones for Soldiers donated 2,500 prepaid phone cards – some of the most cherished items to be received by those on deployment.
The success of this effort is due to the many organizations, firms, businesses and OCBA members and other individuals who supported the collection effort. A special thanks goes to these firms, organizations, groups and parishes for conducting collections to help:
Butzel Long PC
Central Michigan University's Army ROTC Program
Corrigan Moving Systems
Dawda, Mann, Mulcahy & Sadler, PLC
Dykema Gossett, PLLC
Foley & Mansfield
Foley & Mansfield Charitable Foundation
GM Cell Phones for Soldiers
Johnson Elementary School
Michigan State University Law School's Student Bar Association
North Vicariate Archdiocese of Detroit
(Holy Name, Our Lady of Sorrows, St. Anastasia, St. Gerald, St. James, St. Regis, Transfiguration)
Oakland County Road Commission
Sarah Kuchon and Girl Scout Troop 71679
Selfridge ANG - Base Exchange & Commissary
Sullivan, Ward, Asher & Patton, P.C.
VFW Post 3033 - Mt. Pleasant
Williams, Williams, Rattner & Plunkett, P.C.
To learn more about the collection go to:
Learn more about the Oakland County Bar Association’s Veterans Committee and Operation Afghan Iraq Pack by contacting Lisa Stadig Elliot at (248) 334-3400 or by contacting Michael D. Schloff at (248) 645-5205.
THANK YOU NOTES
The men and woman of the 318th Special Operations Squadron
Received via email Apr 15, 2012
Thank so much for the care packages. I attached a few photos of us opening the boxes. We all want to say "Thank you for your support" It has been a real treat opening these boxes. We are a heavy lift helicopter unit (Chinooks) from Selfridge, now based in Bagram Afghanistan. Our mission is to move equipment, people and supplies all over Afghanistan. Allot of the items you have sent are consumed while we are out flying, most times we miss lunch and those items get us thru the long days.
We are fortunate to be at Bagram a larger airbase that supports operations in Regional Command (RC East). Allot of the (Forward Operation Base) FOBs we fly too are very remote and lack allot of items so we are sharing those items by dropping smaller boxes at these locations. We adopted a program by the previous unit called "Chinook Santa" We include a note saying this box is brought to you by "The Chinook Santa" and how we received these items from local organizations like yours, VFW etc. So rest assured your items are shared touching the remote outposts here in Afghanistan.
Everyone one of us wants to personally thank you and your group for your support. When people see your distinctive boxes (rectangular shape) it draws a crowd...as they know whats inside.
Please pass this message on to everyone with a BIG HUG and THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
CW3 Tim Miller
Motor City Muscle
Co. B 3-238th Avn.
Received via email April 11, 2012
I wanted to send my deepest thanks for the care packages we received
today from "Americans Thank Our Troops". The Marines quickly dispersed
all of the treats, movies, magazines, toiletries, and other great goods
amongst themselves. One Marine who has been on multiple deployments to
Iraq and Afghanistan commented that "these are some of the best care
packages I have ever seen." Thank you for your prayers and support to
us while we are out here. It means a lot to us all.
We are doing well. We have been operating in Southwest Afghanistan for
almost six months now. We will be returning to our home base in Camp
Pendleton, CA in the middle of May! Below is the link to our Battalion
website. It has a lot of good pictures, as well as 6 articles on what
we are doing:
Thanks again for all you have done. It is truly appreciated.
God Bless and Semper Fidelis,
-Captain Nicholas Smith
P.S. I lived in Clinton Township, MI for three years while I was
stationed at Selfridge Air National Guard Base. Michigan is a beautiful
state with a lot of great people, like yourselves. My wife and I loved
our time in Michigan, and we look forward to going back again in the
Received via email April 10, 2012
I want to thank everyone for the packages that you sent my unit. It was pretty overwhelming, the guys here really appreciated all the awesome stuff all you sent. With all the DVD's we received we started our own video store lol. I sent the phone cards down to the big base in kunduz, for we have free phones here on our base. The towels and socks were big hits here, as well as the batteries and office supplies (go figure lol). All the food goodies are being eaten at a rapid rate. A little about our mission here in Afghanistan. We are a small group (less than 100) stationed at a small combat outpost in Northern Afghan on the Tajikistan border. We are mostly on our own. Our mission is to advise the Afghan Security Forces on how to do their jobs. The area we are in is very poor. Kids as young as 4 are shepherds here. We have started to build some solid relentionships with our afghan counterparts. I wish I could thank everyone personally who had a hand in sending the packages. Can you all pass this on to anyone I missed, how deeply grateful I am. Also if anyone has any questions for me, feel free to ask them. I will answer what I can. I check this email every couple of days. Once again thank you all.
SGT Eddy, Michael
Bravo Company 1-125
Received via email April 10, 2012Dear Barb and team,
Subject: Care Packages
I wanted to thank you and let you know how much I, along with my colleagues,
appreciate all your donations and the efforts in packing the wonderful items
that you sent me. Words can not express the excitement that we feel just
knowing that we have received boxes from the U.S., not to mention the joy and
overwhelming emotion we feel as we unpack each item.
Reading the notes and labels with names of strangers who are praying for us and
who took the time to carefully hand pack and prepare items that must travel
across oceans to finally reach our hands is exceptionally profound and symbolic.
I truly hope you realize the many ways in which your efforts have touched our
lives. Thank you all for your support.
Thank you Barb for being so wonderful and committed to this process. You are
all my heroes!!
I will be heading back to the U.S. the beginning of August.
GYSGT Bill Bazzi
Received via email on March 24, 2012
Just wanted to send you a quick thank you note for sending my Soldiers the four care packages. They loved everything that you sent since some of the items we only get when they are sent from home. Thank You again for the packages and Thank You for your support.
Calvin J. Caverly
B CO, BSTB, 37th IBCT
Received via email on March 25, 2012
My name is SFC Keith Bunce. I am a platoon sergeant in D Co/1-126 Cav. I am stationed in Afghanistan with 1SG Darrell Reed.
We recently received four care packages from your group. I wanted to thank you and your group on behalf of myself and all the soldiers of 2nd Platoon. I have to say, that next to the ones that my wife sends me, those were some of the best care packages I've ever seen. There obviously was a lot of thought and effort put into assembling them. Please pass on my sincere thanks to all of the individuals and groups involved in your efforts. What all of you are doing is definitely a morale booster and very much appreciated. Keep up the good work. HOOAH!!
SFC Keith Bunce
Received via email March 28, 2012
Subject: Thanks from Afghanistan
Thanks for your thoughts and prayers!
Please pass along to Adam, Terrance, and Will at Family Video our sincere thanks!
Joseph Pankey, Lt Col, USAF
Commander, 318th Expeditionary
Special Operations Squadron-Afghanistan
Thank You Note
(Received via email July 28, 2011)
Subject: THANK YOU!!!
I am sending this email on behalf of everyone here at the 4th Expeditionary Reconnaissance Squadron,
Bagram Air Field, Afghanistan. Thank you all, each and every one of you. Your care packages, cards,
letters, thoughts, and prayers are powerful reminders of what makes America the Greatest Nation on Earth.
It’s amazing to experience such an outpour of appreciation and love from people we’ve never met.
You are the best of society, the reason we fight, a source of strength and inspiration, you fill us with
memories of home and reinforce our purpose here. I am humbled by your unconditional support.
The long list of supporters includes:
Ford, the UAW, and Michigan Military Moms
Barbara Grasso- Thanks for proving that God blesses Airmen too!
Chris & Linda Grandy
Tim & Mary Devlin- Thank you for your service and support
Prof. Daniel Ray- You’ve got a special place in our hearts. I mean an Xbox? c’mon it’s like you know us
CPT Mike Schloff- Thanks for your service…and the baby wipes
Dan & Sandy Newton- Be very proud of your son. He serves with an admirable sense of duty and dedication.
Otto Miller Jr.- Thank you for keeping PFC Joseph A. Miracle’s memory alive
P.S. It baffled my brothers and sisters in arms to see a small town Texas boy getting so much love from the
state of Michigan. And now that I’m returning to my wife and daughter I would like to offer the name of a
fellow Crow: Sarah E. Baker (Michigander)
Thank You Note
(Received via e-mail on August 22, 2011)
I received the boxes you sent me. Thank you so much for everything you do to support the deployed troops.
We are very grateful. The guys here got a kick out of everything, Few are wearing the hats and shirts.
The toiletries are very useful. It really made our day. Some were saying Christmas came early.
Thank you again for your generosity and your precious time.
GySgt Bill Bazzi, A/CCE
Thank You Note
(Received via e-mail on April 10, 2011)
Hello fellow Americans, I'm the Battalion Command Sergeant Major for a unit based in Detroit
currently deployed to Kandahar Afghanistan, I want to personally thank everyone of you and
your teams for the continued support for my troops taking the fight to the enemy. We are
serving proudly and earning your respect daily, we are very grateful for the care packages
that all of you send, I have troops all over theater and I do see all of them and bring them
some "HOMETOWN LOVE" from all the packages that were sent, I can't thank you guys enough
for everything you do and I know this is not much but it is the least I can do under the
current situation we are in right now, so please send out a huge thanks to all your teams from
all of us over here, if anyone wants to send anything else feel free to push it to myself and I
will get it to my outlying areas and bring some well deserved smiles to our hard working troops,
again thank you for the continued support!
CSM James Taylor
APO AE 09355
Thank You Note
(Received via e-mail on April 14, 2011)
Dear Oakland County Bar Association & GM / Chevrolet-Cell phones for
My name is CPT Katie Prater, and I am a Company Commander for Company B 1-147th ASLT stationed in Camp Taji, Iraq. 1SG Steve Williams and I want to send along our heartfelt thank you for the phone cards that you sent to all of the Soldiers in 1-147th. It was such a generous act, and will have a very positive impact on all of our Soldiers and their families.
Your timing is perfect! Right now, we are all enjoying decent internet service and Soldiers are able to keep in contact generally through Skype and email...but soon our internet days are going to be over as we transition out of our permanent housing into transient housing and begin our long journey back to the United States.
The cards that you sent will ensure that all Soldiers will have the ability to contact their families at no expense during this time of transition. It was such a blessing to receive the phone cards, and 1SG Williams and I both want to send along a huge thank you!
With much thanks,
CPT Katie Prater & 1SG Steve Williams
Company B 1-147th ASLT
Camp Taji, Iraq