Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Help for Deployed Troops

This came from my son, Nikolaus... His unit is going to Afghanistan the beginning of January:

"Governor Rell Announces Annual Operation ELF Kickoff - With 'Home for the
Holidays' Twist

Effort to Bring Troops Back to Connecticut for Holiday Break Will Replace
Annual Toy Drive as Private Organization Provides Toys

Governor M. Jodi Rell today marked the start of the state's
annual holiday drive to help support the families of Connecticut National
Guard troops already deployed or preparing to deploy overseas. Governor Rell
announced that this year the program known as "Operation ELF" - an acronym
for Embracing Lonely Families - will include a special fund-raising effort to
bring about 700 troops preparing for deployment at out-of-state bases home to
Connecticut for the Christmas and New Year's holidays.

The special fund-raising effort, called "Operation Home for the
Holidays," is intended to raise $200,000 to hire a fleet of buses to bring
Connecticut Army National Guard troops back to the state during a break in
their training. The fledgling United Football League (UFL) - which is
partnering with Northland AEG to hold an exhibition game at Rentschler Field
in East Hartford this fall - has offered to "kick off" the fund drive with a
donation of $25,000.

The fund-raising effort will replace the annual toy drive that is
usually a part of Operation ELF. A private organization, called Operation
Tribute, will partner with Operation ELF to ensure that children in military
families get toys this holiday season.

"For most of us, the coming holidays are joyous opportunities to
gather with family and friends, strengthening or rekindling old ties and
making wonderful new memories," Governor Rell said. "But this can also be a
time of intense loneliness and longing when family members are missing - and
that is especially true for the families of Connecticut's citizen-soldiers.

"For the families of troops who are deployed or about to be
deployed, the pain of a missing loved one is amplified by understandable
anxiety," the Governor said. "And sadly, this holiday season we will be
seeing more of that loneliness and anxiety than ever, because by the time of
the holidays this year we will have about 1,200 troops from Connecticut
deployed or preparing to deploy - a record number."

Among those troops will be about 700 members of two units - the
1st Battalion of the 102nd Infantry Regiment and the 250th Engineering
Company. The members of those units will be at "mobilization stations" in
Indiana and Wisconsin, respectively, where they will be completing
preparations for deploying to Afghanistan.

Both units are slated to have winter holiday breaks - from
December 23 through January 2 in the case of the 1/102nd and December
22-January 2 in the case of the 250th Engineers.

"That's a nice break - but as you know, holiday travel is
expensive, especially for families already facing a financial strain due to
the deployment of a breadwinner," Governor Rell said. "So this year, instead
of collecting toys for the children of military families, we will be
collecting contributions to pay for a fleet of buses. We will use those buses
to ship our troops home and back to their training camps during their break -
at no expense to their families. We call it 'Operation Home for the

Operation Tribute, an organization founded in Maine and offering
services throughout out New England and New York, will provide new gifts,
each with an approximate $50 value, to military children who register at
their Web site,

"We have another outstanding partner in the UFL, which has really
given our fund-raising effort an inspiring start," Governor Rell said. "Their
donation of $25,000 is a huge leap forward for this effort - right from the
beginning - and they have my deepest thanks."

The $200,000 will cover the rental and round-trip expenses for 10
buses to and from Indiana and three buses to and from Wisconsin, the Governor
said, as well as providing entertainment options such as movies and meals for
troops who cannot make the trip home or have no family in Connecticut.

"Times are tight all over our state - families and employers are
still struggling with the effects of this global economic crisis," Governor
Rell said. "Yet I also have seen, time and again, the way the people of our
state open their hearts in times of need. And I believe they will respond,
once again, with the generosity that makes this such a wonderful place to

Donations for "Operation Home for the Holidays" should be sent to
the Connecticut National Guard Foundation Inc. The Foundation is a
non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization, established in April 2003 to provide
emergency financial assistance for Guard members and their families. All
donations are fully tax-deductible.

Donations can be sent to:

Connecticut National Guard Foundation, Inc.
360 Broad Street, Box 53
Hartford, Connecticut 06105-3706

Checks should be made payable to "CTNGFI."

Credit card donations are also accepted. Please contact the
Operation ELF Hot Line at 860-524-4924 or the Family Program Office at
1-800-858-2677 for a credit card donation form.

As in previous years, Operation ELF will also collect donations
of a gift card to a local grocery or department store, gas station or
pharmacy. These cards can be given to families so that they can choose what
they need most. Cards of any denomination are most welcomed and appreciated.

Donations for the purchase of a gift card are also accepted.
Check should be made payable to Family Program Special Projects and sent to
the above address.

Once again, Operation ELF will also operate the Adopt-A-Family
program, created to assist families who are suffering an extreme financial
hardship as a result of their service member's call to active duty.
Individuals or businesses may "adopt" a family from this category and help
them have a great holiday season.

The name of the family is never revealed to the adopting person
or organization. Rather, a summary of the family's demographics and wish list
are provided. Gifts are delivered by that family's case worker along with the
name of the donor, if so desired. Donors interested in supporting a family in
this category or anyone knowing of a military family that could benefit from
adoption should contact the Operation E.L.F. Hot Line at 860-524-4924 or the
Family Program Office at 1-800-858-2677."

SSG Ramos, Carlos M
Training NCO
HHC 1-102nd IN RGT (MTN)
30 Woodward Avenue
New Haven, CT 06512-3360
W (203) 468-8250
F (203) 468-8224


Any help you could give would be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much.

Until next time..... Lorie

1 comment:

Alexis AKA MOM said...

gosh I wish I had more this year. What a wonderful thing to do!

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