Operation Gratitude collects donations to deliver delight to deployed warfighters

By Jason Kaneshiro DLA Troop Support Public Affairs

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Military personnel from the Defense Logistics Agency Troop Support and other local organizations joined together to collect donations for deployed service members during an annual drive in November.

Service members from all branches of the military set up areas in downtown Philadelphia office building lobbies to collect monetary donations, gift cards and small items in support of Operation Gratitude.

Operation Gratitude is a non-profit charitable organization founded in 2003 that sends more than 200,000 care packages to warfighters, veterans and their families around the world annually.

The local volunteers collected 3,087 pounds of donations and a total of $3,739 worth of checks, cash and gift cards. Donated items include lip balm, beef jerky and crossword puzzle books.

Navy Lt. Anthony Meyer, a contract specialist with the Subsistence supply chain, coordinated DLA Troop Support’s military volunteers and said he appreciates how uplifting it was to receive a care package.

“I know on my deployments, I’ve received care packages and it definitely is a morale booster,” Meyer said. “All the military members who participated, they’ve received these care packages before, so they understand just what it means to the guys that are out there.”

Air Force Master Sgt. Romelia Jackson, a tailored vendor logistics specialist with Construction and Equipment, said the care packages are especially valuable as a morale booster to deployed warfighters who may not have family or friends to get care packages from.

“It doesn’t matter your rank or branch, it’s a good experience to receive these care packages that no one was expecting,” Jackson said.

Meyer, who has coordinated DLA Troop Support’s volunteers for Operation Gratitude since 2014, will move on to his next assignment before the next donation drive in November 2017 and said he hopes it will continue to be successful.

“I know how good it felt to get this sort of thing when I was on deployment,” Meyer said. “I definitely want it to continue.”