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Hillsborough Update on Christmas Shipment
Here’s my belated update on support to HHC 1BCT 101ABN.
Earlier this year, we asked to “foster” adopt a deployed unit while HHC was still at Ft Campbell. You partnered us with LTC Joe Power, Talon 6, SFA TM Talon (2/201 ANA BDE). 78 soldiers based at 6 FOBs and COPs. We sent a shipment every month, including special requests. I’d like to think our support to them made a difference and their kind responses certainly expressed that. As they were in transit home, we received the most beautiful American flag and accompanying certificate describing its flight onboard the OH-58D Helicopter over the COPs and FOBs where they all worked and lived for so many months.
The “First Strikers” were replaced by TM Sparta (2/201st Corps SFAAT) at CT Kunar with 20 soldiers. LTC Power wrote and asked if we wouldn’t mind adopting the new arrivals. But, of course! CSM Victor Fernandez is our contact.
So with holiday haste, Santa’s Elves got to work and filled 170 boxes (150 for HHC and 20 for 2/201) addressed to each individual soldier and filled with snacks, magazines, a letter from a Hillsborough student, a greeting from the Town of Hillsborough, a Christmas card from Hillsborough Police with a personal note to each individual soldier, photographs, a Santa Hat, and an American flag. Ten additional and larger boxes were sent to each of the 4 FOBs with Christmas trees, lights, decorations, candy canes, coffee, hand warmers, and fleece blankets (one for each soldier).
I’ve attached photos. By the time the SWAT truck arrived at the post office, it was pouring rain. Storms in Hillsborough bring additional home security alarm calls and our patrol staff was busy racing around town. So, Police Chief Mark O’Connor (jeans/sweatshirt) and our newest Officer Jose Ortiz, were kind enough to unload all the boxes at the post office.
8 days after shipment, I received a call from Capt Charles Loverude. He had been at the mail room and noticed our return address label. He carried as many boxes as he could, passed them out to the addressees, then explained the adopt-a-unit program, their visit in May, and had happy memories reliving Operation Eagle Visit. Charles sounded good and handling everything in stride! He said one soldier was so excited about the Santa hat that the soldier asked COL McGee if he could wear it on Christmas Day. COL McGee approved! Since then, we’ve received grateful e-mails of thanks. I’ll chain them together and send to you.
Stay dry and travel safe.
Hugs to All.