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Scouts in Operation Care assist Airmen in theater

ANDREWS AFB, Md. -- Servicemembers from the 316th Security Forces Squadron began assisting a group of Boy Scouts in shipping 67 care packages Nov. 21 to deployed servicemembers for Operation Care.

Operation Care, created by Joe Bain, 14, Boy Scouts of America troop
75 senior patrol leader, is a new program, which sends donated food and personal supplies to servicemembers located in war zones throughout the world.

"I was watching TV and got the idea for Operation Care," said Joe. "I brought the idea to the troop, and they all liked it. There were about 50 Scouts who participated in Operation Care."

"This is the first time the troop has done this," said Lester Bain, Troop 75 scoutmaster and father of Joe. "We plan on doing this every year around the holiday season."
Col. Stephen L. Hutchens, 316 SFS commander, provided Mr. Bain the names of deployed members and mailing addresses, guidelines on shippable and non-shippable items, recommended personal items and packaging instructions for the Scouts to follow while collecting goods.

The Scouts set up donation tables in front of several grocery stores and other retail locations.

"The drive was a massive (undertaking) for the Scouts," said Mr. Bain.
The size of donations was so large, the goods needed to be stored at a
316 SFS facility prior to mailing.

The booster club is funding a portion of the mailing cost, due to the amount of packages the Scouts collected and provided, said Tech Sgt. Scott A. Moody, 316 SFS arms and equipment NCOIC. Flight personnel will sponsor the remaining packages to be sent.

After meeting with the 316 SFS and hearing the outpour of gratitude, on the way home, Joe told his father, "Dad, we have to do this again.

I can't only send 67 boxes when I met so many military men and women who are leaving soon to go to war."

Operation Care lasted for four months, ending the collection of goods Nov. 7.
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